Fall Calendar 3: Research Essay

mon – tu 9-10 oct – Fall Break – no GW classes

Have fun. Be safe.

wed 11 oct 

No class meeting (prof away on research). Online work!
Due by midnight (Wed night), posted to Bb:
Note!  you must post on time for your peer to do their required work.

Draft your introduction! –YES, an introduction to the paper you haven’t yet written. This is your fantasy introduction, your first stab introduction, your is this really what I’m doing? introduction. Your goal is to explain three things:

  1. Topic = Subject + Problem. I.e., this is not just subject matter, but also the question or issue or problem with that subject matter. What is your research question, exactly? (Make sure it is about images or requires image analysis to answer.)
  2. Exigency = Why does it matter? Why should you write about this? What is the significance of this question? Don’t we already know this? If not, what do we know? This is where prior scholars come in: what have they already said? how close do they come to answering it, but don’t?
  3. Agenda = What are you going to do?

Now you’re making TEA. But not necessarily in that order–write it as you see fit. And this does not dictate the number of paragraphs it takes–that’s up to you. This all draws from your proposal and annotated bibliography, of course, but work to get rid of my template language there. Find your own way to say these things.

Also, you want to make us want to read your paper! What’s the best way to do that? (Hint: it’s not by saying “Throughout history . . . .”)

To post: 

  1. Name the file YournameIntroDraft.
  2. Save it as PDF (not Word, and certainly not Pages–nobody can open those things).
  3. Go to Blackboard > File Sharing > Your Section Time Draft Intro.
  4. Start a new thread.
  5. Write a nice little hello note to your peer reader.
  6. Attach your PDF document.
  7. SUBMIT your post (don’t just “save” it–nobody can see that but you).
  8. Check to make sure it’s “published.”

Now check Friday’s assignment for what to do with your assigned peer’s draft–you’ve got a peer response due by class time, then something else later.

fri 13 oct

No class meeting (prof still away discovering things).
Online work in two stages.
First, due before class time:

  1. Download and read your assigned peer’s draft intro–see list below.
  2. Type up 15 questions for your peer, based on your reading on their draft intro. No advice allowed. No comments allowed, unless you can frame them in the form of a genuine question. This is all about your skills and needs as an intelligent reader: What do you want to know more about? What are you looking for? What do you hope to learn from your peer’s research project? Your questions can address primary sources, prior scholarship, project scope/parameters, issues of clarity in the prose, guesses about possible discoveries or claims that might come out of it, writerly choices your peer is making, really anything, as long as they’re all questions.
  3. Cut/paste your 15 questions into a Comment on their original Draft Intro post. Address your peer by name. List your questions. End with some little gesture of kindness.

Peer assignments (notice: you’re posing questions to the next person in alpha order on the roll). The arrow means YOU  > post 15 questions for > THIS PERSON.

10:00 section:  Yash > Kaan > Abigail > Emir > Rachel > Berit > Sabrina > Meaghan > Margo > Ming > Kit Lee > Yilin > Scott > Pearl > Emily > Jenna > Seth > Yash.

11:30 section: Shahd > Tim > Jonny > Nick > Julian > Jill > Parth > Arya > Sibyl > Allison > Olivia > Maddy > Ian > Mike > Dawn-Marie > Emily > Artin > Shayd.

Second, due by midnight (Fri nite, but you could probably do it within  the time of your normal class):

  1. Go back and read what your peer wrote for you.
  2. Write a brief response. You don’t have to answer all or even any of these questions! But you might want to address one or two of the more important ones. More importantly, how are these questions helping you? End with some nice thankful gesture to your peer.

mon 16 oct

Sketch: marking up Harris (no writing due):

Read Harris, Rewriting, pp. 39-44 (pp. #s from 1st edition; if you have 2nd edition, you’re just reading the “Illustrating” section of the chapter on “Forwarding.”). In the first long block quote from Gitlin on p. 40 (1st ed), where Gitlin is describing a car commercial, underline or highlight every word that seems, to you, to be interpretative or subjective in some way, not strictly factual or objective. Bring your marked copy to class. I will ask to see it, & this counts as your “sketch.”

Also! (for sketch credit): bring to class:

  1. One primary source image you know you want to analyze in your research essay. Printed is fine, if you can get a good, clean copy. High-res on screen is better, especially for color. If moving picture, find a short clip or scene that seems important to your project. 
  2. Writing implements (laptop or pen/pencil/paper).

wed 18 oct

Practice for attending & asking questions at UWP Writing & Research Conference (see Friday).

Prep:  Read “The Art of Asking Questions,” https://writingprogram.gwu.edu/student-audience-members.

I’ll deliver a 20-minute paper presentation of my current research: “Abram, Henry, and John: What an 1847 Expulsion Riot Tells Us about Slavery at Early GW.” You’ll then ask me questions for the remainder of the class and see what kind of discussion that leads us into.

This will give you practice in asking good questions at Friday conference–those papers (below) also explore previously unknown areas of GW history.

fri 20 oct

No class meeting. Instead, you will attend one of two panels specified below at the UWP Writing and Research Conference. What you’ll do:

  1. Attend one full panel below (two paper presentations).*
  2. During the Q&A session, pose at least one good question, to one or both presenters.
  3. Sign the attendance sheet before you leave.
  4. My midnight, post to Blackboard: Reply to one of the four posts I start (one for each paper): What most surprised you? What questions weren’t quite answered? What more could you ask?

The two specified panels (attend at least one of these two*). The four students presenting here wrote research essays on GW history in my spring 1020 course:

Fri 2:30 pm, room B109, Panel 15
The Whole World is Watching? Activism and Reinvention at GW

  • Zachary Williams, “The Campus That Never Was” [on The National Mall]
  • Brennan Bok, “’45 Hard Core, Ass-Busting, Radicals;’ Students for a Democratic Society on the March at the George Washington University”

Fri 4:10 pm, room B101, Panel 16
Women at GW: Federal Reform & Gender Equality on the Modern Campus

  • Abigail Sharp, “Women of the George Washington University after World War Two”
  • Emma Kraus, “Title IX and Women’s Athletics at GW, 1970-1985”

*If you have a GW class that conflicts with both times above, contact me to schedule a different panel to attend. I must approve this by Wednesday. Otherwise, these are the only two panels accepted for this assignment. Attendance counts as attendance. Post counts as sketch.

mon 23 oct

9 AM: Deadline to sign up for Tutorial #3. See Blackboard > Wiki Scheduling. (Penalty if not signed up by 9 am; I’ll lock it then and work out any remaining conflicts in class.)

Describing/analyzing visual evidence:

Sketch for 2 students only: those listed below in ea. section:
Bring 17 copies: 1-2 pages, double spaced: Choose 1 image you know you need to analyze in your research essay. Describe it and interpret it in light of your project’s question/claim. Do not include the image on the sketch; instead, bring 2 separate copies of the image itself to pass around. 17 copies of text, 2 copies of image.

10:00 – Seth, Yilin 
11:30 – Artin, Maddy 

wed 25 oct

Sketch for these 2 students, as above: 17 copies + 2 separate copies of the image:

10:00 – Scott,  Pearl
11:30 – Ian, Mike

fri 27 oct

Sketch for these 2 students, as above: 17 copies + 2 separate copies of the image:

10:00 – Margo, Ming
11:30 – Sibyl, Allison

mon 30 oct

1. Sketch for everyone: Read Harris, Rewriting, ch. 1, “Coming To Terms.” Mark it up for everything new, interesting, confusing, disagreeable, or just plain wrong (as you see it). I’ll ask to see your markups & it will count as your sketch.

2. Sketch for 2 students per section below (17 copies each)

Bring 17 copies:  1-2 pages, double-spaced. Choose one scholar’s work that you think you’ll need to “come to terms” with substantively in your essay. Draft one or two (or three) paragraphs where you do this, especially as you link from that scholar’s work out to your own. In Harris’s terms, be generous to their work but also assertive about what yours aims to contribute that is distinctive from theirs. What is useful in their work as a departure point for your own? Is it their specific claim? their larger question? their analytical method?

10:00 – Kit Lee, Emily
11:30 – Olivia, Emily


wed 1 nov

1. Sketch for everyone:  Read Harris, ch. 2, 3, & 4: “Forwarding,” “Countering,”& “Taking an Approach.” (a.) Type: One page, printed:  Bullet points: Make a list of all the different ways Harris names for using other scholars’ work in relation to your own work; in your own words, what does each of these mean?  (b.) Now, in two or three sentences, reflect on how you might use others’ scholarship in any of these specific ways in crafting your essay.

2. sketch for 2 students per section: bring 17 copies. 1-2 pages, double spaced. As with Monday: 2-3 paragraphs where you come to terms with and draw out your own use of one piece of prior scholarship, countering &/or forwarding: are you extending its claim, using its methods, applying its question to new material?

10:00 – Sabrina, Jenna
11:30 – Parth, Dawn-Marie


In class: work with I-BEAM categories (I’ll bring a handout).

fri 3 nov

Sketch tba for these 2 students, 17 copies:

10:00 – Meaghan, Berit 
11:30 – Arya, Jill

this week: dealing with difficult evidence

mon 6 nov

Sketch, 2 students below: Choose your single most difficult piece of evidence–an image (or bit of primary source text) that doesn’t seem to fit, that runs counter to your claim in some way, or that you’re having trouble interpreting. In  1-2 pp.: describe & analyze it, in light of your central question/claim. If you’re not sure what to claim, hold off on that and just describe/interpret it.

Do NOT include the image with your posted sketch. Please bring 2 copies of your image to class.

In-class workshop:  counter-evidence, counter-claims

10:00 – Rachel , Emir, Abigail
11:30 – Julian, Nick, Jonny

wed 8 nov

In-class workshop: counter-evidence, counter-claims

Same sketch as above:  describe/analyze your most difficult piece of evidence.

10:00 – Yash,  Kaan 
11:30 –  Shahd,  Tim, Artin

fri 10 nov

No class meeting. Drafting day.

Get together, any time of day/night, in small groups of 3 or 4 and just write.

I know: Why write in others’ presence? Won’t this be distracting? Just try it. It can be a quiet or loud space, but try to get away from your familiar haunts. Try the study areas in Ames Hall or Eckles Library, or–ditch Starblech and head over to Capitol Grounds, Filter, or Swing’s.

Decide together on your ground rules: how much talking is allowed? How much time will you spend writing? Will you read each other’s material or just write?

mon 13 nov – mon 20 nov

No class meeting these dates.

Tutorials: first full draft of research essay, 8+ pages.  Schedule on Bb>Wiki.
Draft: due posted 24 hours before tutorial.
Peer Response:  See Wp>Calendar 3 dropdown menu. Due printed (no exceptions) at tutorial.
Meet in my office, 237 Ames. 

Bring to your tutorial:

  1. Your Peer Response Assignment for each peer, printed.
  2. Something to take notes with (perhaps a copy of your own draft).
  3. Optional: something to record the session with.

wed 22 nov – fri 24 nov

Thanksgiving holiday. No GW classes.

Continued on Calendar 4