Reflective Analysis

Write a cover letter (350 words minimum) introducing your portfolio to an outside reader. While this reader was not in the class with us, they have seen the syllabus, and thus are aware of the general assignments and things we read: you do not need to summarize these aspects of the course. Instead, show how your portfolio items contribute towards meeting the objectives of this course. See the logistics page for these objectives.

Then, describe how the different skills used in this class (reading, researching, drafting, editing, composing, organizing, analyzing, documenting, proofreading, and writing in this course), as demonstrated in your portfolio, contribute to your ability to perform well in other courses or activities. You might think about such skills as developing critical thinking, recognizing good uses of logic and reasoning, knowing how to support claims with specific evidence, reading and analyzing texts, increasing awareness of audience, context, topic, purpose, or author, for example.

Approaches you should avoid:
• Writing one paragraph about each item in your portfolio.
• Making lots of good/bad evaluative claims about your writing with very few or no supporting examples.
• Talking about everything but the items in your portfolio.
• Writing a narrative about your ENG 102 class in general.

(This prompt is slightly adapted from the University of Georgia’s First-Year composition portfolio’s Introductory Reflective Essay. “First-year Composition: Portfolios.” English at UGA. Department of English, University of Georgia, n.d. Web. 20 May 2015)


Writing a Biopoem

For your Wild Card, you might consider submitting a Biopoem (or two!) on a character you encountered this semester.


Line 1: First name
Line 2: Four traits that describe that character
Line 3: Relative of (brother of, sister of, and so on)
Line 4: Lover of (list three things or people)
Line 5: Who feels (three items)
Line 6: Who needs (three items)
Line 7: Who fears (three items)
Line 8: Who gives (three items)
Line 9: Who would like to (three items)
Line 10: Resident of
Line 11: Last name

For Thursday, March 19th – Responding to Poetry

Read all three poems from the schedule (T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” Lorca’s “Dawn,” and Yeats’s “The Second Coming”). Then –

I. Choose ONE of the three poems (whichever one strikes your fancy).

II. Read the poem twice more, once silently and once aloud. Hear the voice of the text and begin to form an oral interpretation.

III. Render parts of the text aloud with various purposes:

  • to gain a basic, clear understanding;
  • to reinforce what you take to be the author’s intended emphasis;
  • to dramatize the power of the text;
  • to exaggerate or parody the voice.

Bring in the following response (just as a free write, try to restrict your written response time to 5 minutes): What did you notice about the different readings? What questions do you have now about the poem?

This free write is in place of a double-entry response.

(Assignment adapted from Lynn Hammond, “Using Focused Freewriting to Promote Critical Thinking.”)

Reminders for Monday, March 16th

Thanks for your biopoems today, I look forward to reading them! Come ready to discuss/defend your choices from the biopoems on Monday, when we’ll talk more in depth about Octavia Butler’s “Speech Sounds.”

If you are pressed for time, read only chapter 5, “The End of the Future,” of Gwendolyn Foster’s Hoarders, Doomsday Preppers, and the Culture of Apocalypse. Both chapter 4 (“Embracing the Apocalypse”) and 5 are in your course packet, but focus on chapter 5 if you have to pick just one for our Monday meeting. Create a couple double entry notebook entries on the Foster chapter(s) as well.

Make sure you download Camscanner and the Dropbox app for our Monday class: we’ll go over how to upload informal writing (like your double-entry notebooks) to Dropbox as possible portfolio artifacts.

You need to check our syllabus/schedule on this site regularly to make sure you know what is due.




For our Thursday, March 12th meeting:

Have a draft of your 25-word abstract of Schmidt’s article. You’ll get time at the start of class to edit/refine these in groups. Remember that the abstract must be one sentence, with exactly twenty-five words, summarizing the main argument of the article.

Read Octavia Butler’s short story “Speech Sounds” and create at least 3 entries in your dialectical notebook in response to the story (new folks: check out page 56 onwards in the very first course packet article called “Active Reading” for more information/examples on how to set up a double-entry/dialectical notebook).

Skim Judith Little’s introduction to Feminist Philosophy and Science fiction: Utopias and Dystopias if you have time (it’s right before the Butler story in your course packet).



Writing & Literature Major at LaGuardia

Do you enjoy reading and writing about literature?  Would you like improve your analytical skills, strengthen your vocabulary, and become an exceptional writer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider majoring in Writing and Literature. LAGCC’s Writing and Literature Major provides a strong foundation for rigorous academic work, while preparing you to succeed at a four-year college and a diverse range of professional opportunities, such as advertising, broadcasting, business, film, law, and politics, among others.  Higher Education is about expanding your horizons, developing your intellect, and finding your voice. Majoring in Writing and Literature will allow you to accomplish all of this – while engaging with novels, poetry, drama, and more!  Note: all the courses you take as a Writing and Literature major will transfer to the English major at John Jay and Queens College. For more information, contact Program Director Michelle Pacht at

What is this forum for?

This blog will serve as a space for announcements, discussion, and for posting links to your work to share with the class (your final project, for instance). You could post images or videos that relate to class discussions, or questions for the class as a whole. You might be asked to post discussion questions or insights generated from your double-entry notebooks here as well. Blog posts that let us continue a discussion further out of class will be assigned on occasion. Remember that this is a public space: anyone could stop by and read what we post here.