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

Some ways to think about the Negative Dialectic

First, there’s this quote by Benjamin that we discussed about historical progress.

Here are also a few resources that might help you out.

Responding to The Girl With All the Gifts

Is the end of humanity in The Girl With All The Gifts “monstrous, or…liberating” (Lauro &Embry 108)? Why?

Using our readings on posthumanism, Marx, Gwendolyn Foster, and/or the “Zombie Manifesto,” discuss how the ending of the novel may or may not be liberating. Incorporate at least two readings, along with textual evidence from the novel, to support your decision. Be sure to include in-text citations and a bibliography in correct MLA format. Here’s the rubric to keep you honest.

References in The Girl With All the Gifts

Reflecting on the Course Thus Far

Write informally (hand-written or typed- this is not for a grade, but you will want to pop it in your Dropbox because you might want to refer back to it later) about the material and tasks we’ve covered recently in our class:

  • What organizing strategy have you chosen for your portfolio?
  • At what moment in the class thus far were you most engaged as a learner?
  • At what moment were you most distanced as a learner?
  • Record your observations about the pace and quality of the course and your role in it.
  • Have you made a contribution that made others think? When, and what was it?
  • Did someone else contribute something that made you think? Elaborate.
  • What do you plan on changing (or have you already changed) in your Blasted paper, based on the feedback you received on your poetry response?
  • Was the audio feedback/screencast helpful for feedback, or do you prefer written comments?
  • What are your goals for when we return from break?

Should Blasted be staged?

The prompt below is a fictional scenario. You should not necessarily write anything formal before our next class meeting on Thursday, March 26th to begin this response, but you should keep the assignment in mind as you read the essay on Blasted for Thursday. Think about your position, and how the Saunders article may or may not help your argument – perhaps note this down in your double-entry notebook as you read. You might also begin collecting some outside research using Evernote. Track your response to the Saunders essay using your double-entry notebook and keeping track of quotes that you want to use (no matter which side of the debate you fall on!).

The theatre department at LaGuardia has announced auditions for its next production: Sarah Kane’s Blasted. You have noticed flyers appearing from various student groups protesting the show, saying that such depictions of violence are not appropriate. In an era of trigger warnings on campuses and college rape scandals in the news, some say the play could challenge viewers (and not in good ways). You heard one person in the cafe line say that too many students might have immature reactions and not “get it,” thinking the violence is “cool” at a time when video games and movies glorifying blood and gore are popular.

The student newspaper has heard that our class is reading Blasted, and wants to publish an opinion forum (much like the NY Times‘ section “Room for Debate”) on whether or not Blasted should be staged. You must write an 800 word opinion piece addressing the larger LaGuardia community, using scholarly and critical responses to support why or why not the theatre department should mount this production, and further issues that may or may not touch upon the production’s reception. Feel free to include current events that are relevant to your position.

The rubric is available here.

Should you want to use any of the Helen Iball that we looked at on Monday, here’s the citation:

Iball, Helen. Sarah Kane’s Blasted. London: Continuum, 2008. Print.

You’ll begin writing this response in class on Thursday, March 26th. Bring in a rough draft for peer review on Monday, March 30th. You will upload a draft to share with me on Thursday, April 2nd.