site, now closed, was the home of Leon Lanzbom's Spring 2008 English 101 classes at San Diego Mesa Coll
Mesa College: English 101
Monday & Wednesday: 84096
Weekly Menu: spring 2008
Life is a romantic business. It is painting a picture, not doing a sum--but you have to make romance. And it will come to the question how much fire you have in your belly.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
As you know, this class meets one day per week. That means we fit a week's worth of classes into one class meeting--a lot of work in a short amount of time. So, to stay excited and enthusiastic, we must stress the dynamic. Therefore, the hard syllabus handed out in class, and the syllabus you are about to read will change, depending on how many hazy eyes I notice. Fear not though, any changes will be announced in class.
Disclaimer: You may find the language, or the sexual or violent content of some of the material submitted or assigned in this class offensive. I generally do not censor class reading material. Please see me if you feel offended. I will offer alternatives for any assignment.
ASSIGNMENT REVIEW Four essays in response to readings (750 words each).Two in class "cataclysmic shakedown” essay exams (AKA Midterm and Final: 500 words each).One “out-of-class” 8-10 page research paper—please note topic exceptions on your hard-copy handout.Five unannounced, in-class startle-response quizzes (one lowest score dropped).Startle-response quizzes and missing class: There will be 5 in-class Startle-Response quizzes, otherwise known as "check that you did the reading carefully and on time quizzes." You can expect these quizzes from time to time, and they will come unannounced throughout the semester. The quizzes will primarily focus on the reading assignments, providing me with a chance to see how well you are doing with the readings and documentation technique, though any area of the course may provide material for quizzes. The whole point of these quizzes is to help us work together, to convert what might be a boring classroom into a chaotic, unpredictable and exciting intellectual laboratory. *You must submit all essays, exams, and the research paper in order to pass this course.*
GRADING OF ASSIGNMENTS
six essays (drop lowest grade of 1st three): 20.0% (25 pts. each = 100 pts.)
two Cataclysmic Shakedowns: 40.0% (100 pts. Each = 200 pts.)
one research paper: 20.0% ( = 100 pts.)
five Startle-Response quizzes: 10.0% (10 pts. each = 50 pts.)
Participation 10.0% (50 pts)
(Percentages are approximations): 100.0% = 500 pts.
Dreams and Inward Journeys: Marjorie Ford and Jon Ford
Persepolis: Marjane Satrape
Scene from the Movie Giant: Tino Villanueva
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud
A Pocket Style Manual: Diana Hacker
You are responsible for bringing the appropriate textbooks to every class meeting; bring paper and pens to every class meeting. Coming to class without the appropriate materials or without having completed assigned readings is equivalent to being absent for that class.
The secret of realizing the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships out into uncharted seas! Live in conflict with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and ravagers as long as you cannot be rulers and owners, you men of knowledge! The time will soon pass when you can be satisfied to live like timorous deer concealed in the forests. Knowledge will finally stretch out her hand for that which belongs to her - she means to rule and possess, and you with her!" --Book IV,Frohliche Wissenschaft , Friedrich Nietzsche
Come into class having read all the material listed on the day of our syllabus. For example: Everything on the syllabus listed on 3/25 must be read by 3/25. Capish?_______________________________________
Monday (84096) 1.28, Wednesday (84096) 1.30Saturday (83956) 2.2 Introduction to course, syllabus, and booksHow to write an essay: finding a thesis; three points (plan of development). Un Chien AndalouThis classic film by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, circa 1928, was made to attract the attention of the Avant Garde movement. These two mad artists wanted to create a film whose "only rule was very simple: no idea or image that might lend itself to rational explanation of any kind would be accepted." Buñuel took stones to the premiere to toss at the critics. But something more bizarre than the film itself happened. The critics and bourgeoisie loved it! Buñuel and Dali were puzzled. Bunuel wrote: "What can I do about the people who adore all that is new, even when it goes against their deepest convictions, or about the insincere, corrupt press, and the inane herd that saw beauty or poetry in something which was basically no more than a desperate impassioned call for murder?" "A movie like this is a tonic. It assaults old and unconscious habits of movie going. It is disturbing, frustrating, maddening. It seems without purpose (and yet how much purpose, really, is there in seeing most of the movies we attend?). There is wry humor in it, and a cheerful willingness to offend." - Roger Ebert To see the entire movie, Un Chein Andalou, click here._________________________________First quiz assignment: Due: week 2, Monday, SaturdayDraw what you view to be the most memorable or confusing image from Dali and Bunuel's UN CHIEN ANDALOU. If you can't draw, consider pictures or illustrations to represent your image. On another piece of paper taped to that drawing, write a 250-500 word essay that describes your rationale and/or speculates upon the complexities of the particular image you selected, offering three points of observation and a thesis. To make your details jump off the page, you should use as many strong verbs and colorful nouns as possible. Keep away from dull, life-robbing "to be" verbs (linking verbs): be, is, am, was, were, been. Good Luck!
Monday 2.4, Wednesday 2.6 (84096)
Saturday (83956) 2.9
Discovering ourselves through writing and reading
quiz 1 Un Chien due on my desk at the beginning of class.
*MLA exercise handout (due week 5): bring Hacker to class
A Process View of Writing and Reading 2-12 (just skim through this).
Denise Levertov, "The Secret" 15
Stephen King, "The Symbolic Language of Dreams" 17
Fredrick Douglas: "Learning to Read and Write" 40
Amy Tan, "Mother Tongue" 34
*MLA Exercise Sheet: Download here
Begin Essay 1, due week Five: Cause and Effect: What makes a writer a writer.
Both Denise Levertov and Stephen King emphasize the power to understand the world and to awaken the creative mind through imagination. They emphasize the connections between the lines of writing and the readers’ lives. Poets and writers give suggestions of what to think about, but readers must participate and engage in the ideas to cull their own meanings from the text. In other words, reading involves the collaboration between reader and writer in such a way that meanings beyond the writer’s original intention are revealed. In 250 to 500 words, consider one of the writers we will study: Tan, King, Levertov, Le Guin, Woolf, or Sertapi. What causes these writers to write? Is it just a job to them, or is there something more? You may have to do a bit of research on the background of the author you have chosen (no encyclopedia or .coms). This essay will require at least ONE works cited--expertly weaved into the text. Dig in deeper than expected. Go out on a limb. Be the crazy one for once! Click here for an outline to help you with this essay
2.15-2.18 Holiday President’s Day
2.11 drop with a refund
What We See When We Write
Monday 2.11, Wednesday 2.13
Saturday 2.16 (no class 2.16 president's weekend, but you are still responsible for the readings.)
Steven Holtzman, "Don’t Look Back" 44
Ursual K. Le Guin "A Matter of Trust" 24
Virginia Woolf, "Professions for Women" 28
Persepolis. Read up to page 54
Hacker: look at 113-127
Workshop for essay 2: *Bring in rough draft or first paragraph of essay #2
"People always ask me, 'Why didn't you write a book?' But that's what Persepolis is. To me, a book is pages related to something that has a cover. Graphic novels are not traditional literature, but that does not mean they are second-rate. Images are a way of writing. When you have the talent to be able to write and to draw it seems a shame to choose one. I think it's better to do both." --Marjane Setrapi
For information and interviews on Persepolis and Marjane Satrapi click here
Week Four: Saturday 2.18-2.23
Hermeneutics and more Hermeneutics
9.28: Remember, last day to petition for credit no credit
MLA exercises due
Cause and Effect essay 2 due
Louis Erdrich, "Dear John Wayne" 465
Sigmund Freud, "Erotic Wishes and Dreams" 332
Linda Seger, "Universal Stories" 191
Maxine Hong Kingston, "No Name Woman" 336
Possible film: to be announced
ANNOUNCE FINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Here are 13 Final Essay Ideas: Click Here
|Essay 2: Compare or Contrast|
Réné Magritte, Ceçi n'est pas une pipe (1926) vs. art.
painting of a pipe, combined with the painted words "This is not a
pipe," calls into question visual representation itself. What is
painted on canvas is not actually a pipe, but a depiction of a pipe.
The words, which is as much a part of the painting as the pipe, serve
to point up the differences between a real pipe and the image of a real
Magritte’s painting speaks to our preconceived notions of art: What is art? What is illustration? What do words mean?
here is the distinction between reality and the representation. In
saying that an image resembles reality, one assumes the ontological
superiority of the latter. The philosopher, Foucault, writes that with
the painted representation of the pipe the original pipe, which the
painting is based open, is transformed into something else; the
original and the proxy are "like one another without any of them being
able to claim the privileged status of model for the rest."
your next essay, you are going to compare OR contrast Magritte's
painting, This Is Not a Pipe, to art as you know it. You may want to choose a painting you are familiar with, or perhaps find the definition of art and take a stand. We have dual images here, one words, one a
pipe, each representing other notions. Both are a facade or doorway
that takes us to new perceptions, presumptions, and understandings. In one frame, we
are working with two different mediums of communication that reach far
beyond the pen and the pallet.
Do not freak out! What is the
difference between a car and a truck. They are both used for
transportation and have many similarities, but they are two different
ways of getting someplace. Apply similar thinking to
this painting, but THINK!
When we compare, we show our readers a subject's similarities.
When we contrast, we show our readers a subject's differences.
Compare and Contrast essays are learning-process essays. You learn about your subject as you gather and organize information.
type of essay takes a bit of organization, and it's this organizational
process, this gathering of facts that helps you learn as you go.
You will offer at least two direct quotes from outside
sources, using MLA citings for this paper. You can use our
readings, such as Persepolis, or anything else that comes to mind, but consider a book or article
on art outside of the readings on to help guide you.
The compare contrast packet below will help you.
It MUST be filled out and handed in with your paper.
For your compare or contrast packet, click HERE
Week Five: Saturday 2.25-3.1Observing Nature and Writing Descriptions
Naomi Shihab Nye "Fireflies" (poem) 71
Diane Ackerman, "Deep Play" 75
Mary Mackey, "The distant Cataract about Which We Do Not Speak" 77
Donovan Webster, "Inside the Volcano" 82
Persepolis, to end.
MLA answers sheet: Click HERE
Théâtre F105/C121: Movie! Andy Goldsworthy--Rivers and Tides: Working with Time
Director Thomas Riedelsheimer. Producer Annedore V. Donop. Music: Fred Frith.
Click here for information from NPR on Andy Goldsworthy. Be sure to check out some of the interviews. This film is the perfect vehicle for understanding this week's "The Other" theme: "The underlying tension of a lot of my art is to try and look through the surface appearance of things," Goldsworthy says. "Inevitably, one way of getting beneath the surface is to introduce a hole, a window into what lies below." (from Susan Stone interview)
Click here for reviews on Rivers and Tides.
Click here for film of Stromboli erupting. According to University of North Dakota's "Volcanoworld" website, Stromboli, an Aeolian island of Italy, has been in continuous eruption for close to 2,000 years!
Click here to see Ambrym's volcano from Donovan Webster's essay.
Week Six: 3.3-3.8
Observing Nature and Writing Descriptions cont.
Essay 3 Compare Contrast due
Come into class having read all assignments listed in our syllabus up to this point plus the following:
Jon Krakauer, "The Khumbu Icefall" (essay) 89
Jane Goodall, "In the Forests of Gombe" 536
Terry Tempest Williams, "Ground Truthing" 94
film: Liquid Stage: The Lure of Surfing
Click here for a great National Geographic Everest website.
Click here for the most extensive Everest site in the world.
Week Seven: 3.10-3.15
Narration, Memory, and Self-Awareness cont.
Catch up on all work not covered. Please make sure you read everything on our syllabus up to and including today's readings.
Mark Strand, "Where Are the Waters of Childhood" (poem). 128
Maya Angelou, "The Angel of the Candy Counter" (essay) 145
Patricia Hample, "Memory and Imagination," 129
Sairah Shah, "The Storyteller’s Daughter,"
Week Eight: 3.17-3.2
Week Nine: 3.24-3.29
|Essay 3: You are here: social map.|
due week 11
This project requires a visual component, a map of where you are and
where you are going. You will then, in words, reflect on the map
you made, explaining what you have done, what it means, and how you
accomplished it. In the 500-word essay, I would like you to do three
One, I want you to describe your map in words. You will
"define" what you have composed and what each section of your map
Two, You should explain why you made your map. What rhetorical
strategies did you learn from this project? (Rhetoric: The art or
study of using language effectively and persuasively.)
Three, I want you to take your analysis a step further--Looking at this
map the way you would any map, where does this map point to?
You will have to think beyond yourself and anticipate how others will
respond to your creation. This further means that as you work on your
map, you need to think about why we make maps, who your audience is,
and how your self-portrait map reflects cultural issues.
3.29: Cataclysmic Shakedown Numéro Un (AKA The Midterm!)
Expect fill in the blank, multiple choice, True and False, and short answer, and a 500 word in-class essay
Research paper lab: questions and answers, if time allows.
11/5: Withdrawal deadline—No drops accepted after this date
Week Ten: 3.31-4.5
comparing and contrasting
Nikki Giovanni, “ego-tripping (there may be a reason why)” (poem). 188
Judith Ortiz Cofer, "Silent Dancing" (essay) 151
Stephen Jay Gould, "Muller Bros. Moving & Storage" (essay) 163
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." 198
Essay4: "Still Life" Description Essay Due week 13
this piece of word art,
you will describe your favorite meal. You will then write a 250-500
word essay that describes the image of this food, offering three points
of observation and a thesis. But here, you are going to use your five
senses to paint the most wonderful specific details in words, sight,
smell, taste, touch, and maybe even hearing. To make your words as
vivid as possible, use strong verbs and colorful nouns. The kinds of
words that appeal to the reader’s senses. Keep away from the “to be”
verbs (be, is, are, was, were, been,
Here is an example of description with almost no appeal to the senses:
My mother has brown hair.
Here is an example rich in description:
My mother’s hair reminds me of the soft brown leaves of fall.
may even want to take your essay a step further. Make
believe you're a person from another country who has
never seen this kind of food before. You get the idea, right? Two MLA in-text citings and a works cited page are expected!
Outline for Description essay, click here
|Final Essay Assignment! Due Week 15|
Word Rogues’ Galley of Essays
Elegant, eclectic and clever, Gore Vidal reminds young writers that a peek into the fabulous history of the word essay, an etymological poke into the labyrinth of essays past, yields another word you might not have expected to run across: attempt. You see most people think of an essay as a finished product--a dull, lifeless, inert textual body with a static introduction, an "ABCD" body, and a clear let’s-tie-up-all-the-pieces conclusion. You will not write this kind of essay, opting instead to produce something that is less product and more process. Don’t get me wrong, I am STILL asking with no little nostalgia to return to the origins of the essay we’ve been working on. Yet I want you to make a sincere attempt to produce a truly unique set of ordered reflections, a group of carefully arranged tasty words which respond in some way to the essays, films, short critical treatments and lectures you have worked through and will continue to work through in the coming weeks. Are you writing for Lanzbom? --in a way, of course you are. That means no curse words, no “hip” jargon, lots of research, and staying within MLA forms. But beyond that, and in order to do well on this assignment, you must write for another audience. Who are they? Well, they are a lot like you. They are impatient and easily bored. They like specific details; they love direct, succinct quotes woven carefully into the fabric of an essay, and most of all they like you to take chances, take risks, make assumptions, open a few new doors. If you are going to write about an image, they want to see a reproduction of that image. They hate misspellings and passive verbs (is, am, are, was, were, been, being). They like tangy language, which is fresh and not filled with stupid clichés.
Specifications: 5 pages MINIMUM, cleverly titled, double-spaced, 1-inch margins top and sides, proofread, chock-full of active verbs. Late papers will not be accepted. Early papers, in most cases, will be cherished lovingly--that is, you are encouraged to run your work by me in advance. All A-level critical speculations will integrate carefully selected direct quotations from the primary texts. One last bit of advice, do NOT plagiarize ANY material from the internet; unCITED material = PLAGIARISM; also, if you are going to "quote" a passage from an illustrated text, go to the bother of Xeroxing the image and incorporating it INTO your essay.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Click HERE for your list of essays
Click HERE for your essay packet: This must be handed in with your essay
Essay 3 Due
Film: Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth
Click here for class notes on creation myths
Click pic to the right to go to Campbell's website
Please walk into class having read the following:
Marcelo Gleiser, “The Myths of Science--Creation” (essay). 203
Portfolio of Creation Myths
Genesis 2:4-23 (Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible). 208
"How the Sun Was Made" (Australian Aboriginal) 209
“The Pelasgian Creation Myth” (Ancient Greek) 210
“The Chameleon Finds” (Yao-Bantu, African). 211
“Spider Woman Creates the Humans” (Hopi, Native American). 212
“The Beginning of the World” (Japanese). 213
Comparing and Contrasting continued
Please walk into class ready to discuss the following:
Bruno Bettelheim, "Fairy Tales and the Existential Predicament" 215
Four Versions of Cinderella.
The Brothers Grimm, "Aschenputtel" (fairy tale). 229
"The Algonquin Cinderella" (adapted by Idries Shah) (fairy tale). 240
"Tam and Cam: A Vietnamese Cinderella Story" (fairy tale). 242
Charles Perrault, "Cinderellon" 233
Click here for an annotated look into "Cinderella."
Click here for National Geographics look at Grimm's Fairy Tales.
Sexuality and Gender: The Other
Robert Louis Stevenson: "The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde" 421
Pablo Neruda "The Dream" 329
Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Other” 402
Emily Dickinson “This World is Not Conclusion” 530
Theatré Eng 101: Adaptation
The perfect vehicle to carry us into our "Other" theme for the next two weeks. Charlie Kaufman (Nicholas Cage) needs to adapt Susan Orlean's (Meryl Streep) non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, into a script. We watch Kaufman struggle in wirter's block to transform this non-Hollywood story into a film that will capture the viewer's attention. Kaufman is stuck. Until he calls up the doppelgänger within him, the "other," the man Kaufman hides deep inside himself. This probably did happen on one level or another since Charlie Kaufman is the real life screenwriter of Adaptation.
Begin Essay 6: Due week fifteen: This essay has a writing and a visual component again. Chose any of this weeks or next weeks readings or perhaps an older reading such as Marquez's work. The goal on the written part is to explainwhat you have read to someone who has never read it. Your thesis should be the question asked of the text: What does the text say? You should then support your thesis with your plan of development (three points). Next, you must do research in the library for a visual text (photos, drawings, images, anything visual) that describes the myth or fairy tale or essay or movie you have chosen and photocopy these images or scan and download them. You could label them with captions, but be brief because this portion of your paper should be more visual than verbal. Now, combine the visual and verbal text anyway you decide. You can use the visual text as illustrations for the verbal or you could weave them together. The whole idea here is to become aware of the differences between the visual and verbal texts. How did you use them differently? Did you use the visual text for description and the verbal text for narration? Go for it and learn how each one works off the other.
Doppelgänger Essay 6 AKA Essay 6's evil twin:
A doppelgänger is the ghostly double of a living person; "Doppelgänger" has come to refer to any double or look alike of a person—most commonly an "evil twin."
In Adaptation we meet Charlie and Donald Kaufman. Explore, analyze, probe, scrutinize, using the movie and some of the "other" material we read this week, these two brothers. Was Donald Kaufman real or Charlie's doppelgänger. Look for clues within the movie to back your argument.
The other/The double
Tino Villanueva: Scene from the Movie Giant 11-33
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” 276
Ann Lamott: “Hunger” 298
Final paper workshop: bring in rough drafts
Click here to listen to a play on "The Yellow Wallpaper."
Click here for Charlotte Perkins Gilman's, "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper."
Essay review! Bring your rough or final drafts to class.
Tino Villanueva, Scene from the Movie Giant 33-end (52)
Annie Dillard, “A Field of Silence” 532
Essay 5 due (optional for extra credit)
Research Paper due! All papers must be on my desk at the beginning of class. Late papers will not be accepted.
Questions, meetings, last words.
Review for final____________________________________
Cataclysmic Shakedown time!
last day of classes have a great summer
Reference SectionFrom links to grammar, below are the references that you will read or use throughout our class.
More Possible Subjects for Your Final Paper
|Outline for Argumentative Essay, click here|
Outline for Compare-Contrast Essay, click here
|Click here to check out an MLA sample paper. |
MLA Exercise Sheet: Download here
|Final Essay Assignment, click here|
Final Essay Outline, click here
Essay Review, click here
|Click here for "Hazards of Movie Going" essay. v|
Click here for Bertrand Russell's, "Three Passions."
Mechanics and Grammar Review
Articles: a, an, the
These three little words are all the articles in the English Language.
Articles are like little adjectives that point to nouns.
Nouns: common and proper
Common Nouns can be counted and can have an article in front of them.
Proper Nouns are usually capatilized and can be longer than one word. Also, the clues that work for common nouns do not work for proper nouns. You can't say the New Yorks, or I'm going to New Yorks.
1) Personal pronouns are defined as words that name persons or things.
2) Personal pronouns do not follow articles and do not form plurals by adding s as many nouns do.
You will write pron. over personal pronouns.
Most verbs show action.
Verbs will fit into the following sentences:
Yesterday I _____________________.
I have ___________________.
Some verbs don't show action. These are linking verbs: am, is, are, were, be, being, been, become, seem. Linking verbs will tell you something about the subject of the sentence.
The chihuahua is yappy. Is here tells you something about the subject, the "chihuahua."
The subject is your key to finding the verb. Find out what the sentence says about the subject, and you'll find the verb.
Can you put I, you, he, she, it, or they, in front of the potential verb? If you can, you have your verb.
A helping verb appears before the main verb.
The teacher and I have worked hard. A helping verb acts as the buddy of the main verb and gives a sentence its mood, voice, aspect, and tense. Imagine the main verb as the action center, the Boss Tanaka, of a sentence with the helping verb as Boss Tanaka's dweeby assistant, always tweeking the action.
Some helping verbs can stand alone and act as a main verb. The linking verbs, such as be, been, being, am, are, is, was, were and helping verbs such as do, does, did, have, had, and has can all stand alone. Other helping verbs work with a main verb: may, might, must, could, should, would, can, shall, and will.
You would do well to memorize these verb, especially the "to be" verbs:
|to be verb
Contractions, interrogatives, adjectives, adverbs, and modification:
Two parts of speech in one word.
Contractions are built out of pronouns and linking verbs.
You + are = you’re
She + will = she’ll
An interrogative sentence asks a question.
A sentence that asks a question separates the helping verb from the main verb.
Did Crandall run into the shack?
Did = helping verb
Run = main verb
Many adjectives have antonyms:
Adjectives will make sense between articles and nouns that are places, persons, or objects.
The tiny lake
The happy boy
A red thermos
Many adjectives are found to the left of nouns. This is not always the case because they can also be found to the right of linking verbs.
Memorize this: Adjectives will answer one or more of the following questions.
What kind of_____________?
Adverbs often deal with time.
Adverbs can be moved to another place in the sentence.
Adverbs often end in –ly
Memorize this: Adverbs will answer the following questions:
To what extent?
Won’t is a contraction of will not. Not is an adverb for will. It answers “how” or "to what extent" you will do something in the contraction “won’t.”
Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns.
Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
Adverbs not and very almost always modify the words they are next to.
The road runner ran very quickly.
In this sentence, very and quickly are both adverbs, with the word very modifying quickly.
A simple sentence is built of a single subject-verb unit.
The chicken flew the coop.
The unicycle has been riden by several sad circus clowns.
Yet, a simple sentence can have more than one subject or verb.
Ron and Aryeh run.
The chicken and the rooster flew the coop.
The unicycle and the ostrich have been riden by several sad circus clowns.
Ron runs and trips.
The chicken flew and buzzed the coop.
The unicycle has been stolen and riden by several sad circus clowns.
We can even have multiple subjects and verbs:
The unicycle and the pogo stick and the Schwinn Airdyne had been stolen, ridden, and returned by several sad circus clowns.
A compound sentence is built out of two or more simple sentences.
These are two complete sentences with a subject and verb hooked up together, and they are usually connected by a comma plus a word to join the two sentences.
The joining words are called coordinating conjunctions because they coordinate the two sentences.
the coordinating conjuncions:
and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet.
Carl opened the door, and the ants made their break to freedom.
Lois loves to go shopping at Sacks, but Superman can never find anything to match his costume there.
Billy loved his asparagus garden, for he was not your average boy.
You see? Each of the above can be separated into two sentences, but the coordinating conjunction coordinates them together.
Consider the coordinating conjunction as the camp councilor of the word world. The words and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet, are always trying to hook their sentence campers together. There will usually be something in common between the first sentence and the second sentence. In other words, the ideas of both sentences should be related.
A complex sentence is made up of a sentence with a complete thought and a statement of an incomplete thought (one that begins with a dependent word).
We are talking about an dependent clause and an independent clause hooked up together.
Remember: an independent clause tells a complete thought; a dependent clause tells an incomplete thought.
Here's an example of a dependent clause:
When I get those P.F. Flyers...
Do you feel the tension in the above dependent clause. It's incomplete. It needs more, more, MORE!
When I get those P.F. Flyers, I'll be the most popular kid in school.
A dependent clause begins with a dependent word. Let's look at a few.
In order that
When do we use complex sentences?
When we want to emphasize one idea over another.
Before I left the house, I fed my pet cockatiel.
What we want to emphasize here is this guy fed Cessna.
I fed my pet cockatiel is a complete thought.
Before I left the house is subordinated to the complete thought.
This technique of giving one thought more emphasis than another is called subordination.
With subordination, the part of the sentence starting with the dependent word or the subordinator will always be the less emphasized part of the sentence.
But if you want to emphasize leaving the house you would write:
After I fed my pet Cockatiel, I left the house.
Do you see how the use of the the word after causes the first half of the sentence to emphasize I left the house? Read it again. This is important stuff and will give your writing a tremendous boost.
It depends on what you’re trying to express. If you want I left the house as the emphasis of the sentence, you would leave that clause independent.
But, like all the grammar we've learned in this class, it depends on context.
Check out the context in the following sentence:
After I fed my pet cockatiel, I left the house. But when I got to my office, I realized I had forgotten my keys for the third time this week.
And in this one:
Before I left the house, I fed my pet cockatiel. Cockatiels are very picky eaters, and if Cessna does not find a piece of mango in her birdseed, she gets into a huff.
Can you feel the difference between the above two sentences? One emphasizes the forgetting of the keys; the other emphasizes the feeding of Cessna, the cockatiel
A very important point to remember is to make the last part of your sentence the emphatic part. Emphasize your main thought at end of your sentence and pick up that thought in the beginning of your next sentence.
Comma Splices and Run-Ons:
The Comma Splice:
When one independent clause (a complete sentence) is followed by another independent clause, never use a comma between them, use a period or a semicolon or a comma followed by a joining word.
Yosef has diverse taste in magazines, he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook.
Yosef has diverse taste in magazines; he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook.
Yosef has diverse taste in magazines. He reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook.
Of course, you can join two independent clauses with a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet).
Yosef has diverse taste in magazines, for he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook.
But, if the second clause is preceded by an adverb, such as however, moreover, therefore, or thus, a semicolon should be used.
Yosef has diverse taste in magazines; therefore, he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook.
Important style point: If the clauses are short, a comma can be used:
Yosef reads magazines, magazines read Yosef.
_____________________________________On Subjects and Verbs
Words that come between subjects and verbs should be handled with care. Take this sentence for example:
The pie for the guests is not as tasty as I thought.
The subject pie is singular, so the verb must be singular as well. We must use the verb is for the verb and subject to agree. The words,for the guests, which come between the subject and the verb, do not affect agreement. Don't be fooled by the object of a preposition--learn what a prepositional phrase is. By identifying the prepositional phrase, you can avoid subject-verb agreement problems.
Remember this rule: the subject will never be found in a prepositional phrase.
A Little Bit about Prepositions
Let's see if we can make some sense out of this prepositional phrase business. Look at the following sentence:
The hamburger with the double order of french fries (is/are) not as tasty as I thought.
The subject hamburger is singular, so the verb must be singular as well. We must use the verb is for the verb and subject to agree even though it feels wrong. The prepsositional phrase, with the double order of french fries, which comes between the subject and the verb, does not affect agreement.
Prepositional phrases are real trouble makers. Don't be fooled by the object of a preposition--learn what a prepositional phrase is. By identifying the prepositional phrase, you can avoid subject-verb agreement problems.
The hamburger with the double order of french fries is not as tasty as I thought.
A preposition is usually a word that will show position or time. Imagine a bird flying toward a tree. Anything that bird can do to the tree will be a preposition: in the tree, the tree, around the tree, through the tree, over the tree, under the tree, at the tree, along the tree, from the tree, onto the tree, etc.
As far as time goes: at noon, during the siesta, in the fall, until tomorrow etc.
There are other prepositions that do not fit in these catagories: the words for, of, or like are examples. So watch out for these guys, especially the word of. You might try placing parentheses around the prepositional phrase, reading the sentence without the phrase. This way, you'll be sure of the subject.
The taste of peaches has/have always attracted me.
The taste (of peaches) has always attracted me.
A prepositional phrase is a prepostion and the noun that follows it plus any modifiers that might find their way in between. The noun that follows the preposition is called the "object" of the preposition.
Prepostion + noun
"at home": at= preposition / home=noun (the word "home" is the object of preposition)
Preposition + modifier(s) + noun
"in the old car": in=preposition/the= article/old=modifier(adjective)/ car=noun ("car"=object of hte preposition)
Let's repeat the rule: The subject will never be found in a prepositional phrase.
Indefinite pronouns always take singular verbs.
Everyone in the line screams (not scream) for his money back.
Nobody, out of thousands of volunteers, twists (not twist) the way she does.
Each of the students has (not have) a beautiful, roast tofu sandwich for lunch.
Verbs must agree with subjects no matter their placement in a sentence:
Near my closet hides Chris Ware.
*here the famous illustrated novelist, Chris Ware, is the subject; the verb he comes after must be singular.
Near my closet hide Chris Ware and Krazy Kat.
*here we use a plural verb because we have a plural subject: Chris Ware and Krazy Kat
Interrogatives are sentences with different verb placement:
Where are those sea anemones?
*the word anemones is the subject here, so we must use the plural verb are.
Watch your subject-verb placement with sentences that begin with the words there, here, who, which, what, and where.
When the word and joins subjects a plural verb should be used:
George Herriman and Krazy Kat are a demanding couple.
Esther and Haman are the life of the party.
When subjects are joined by or or nor or contain either. . .or, neither. . .nor. the verb agrees with the subject closest to the verb:
After the last incident, neither Cha Cha nor her cousin eats BBQ.
Neither the barista nor her helpers make a decent soy mocha latte extra hot no whip.
Let's take a quick peek at clauses, surbordinate and independent.
Clause:He constructed a vast labyrinthine of periods, made impassable by the piling-up of clauses upon clauses--clauses in which oversight and bad grammar seemed manifestations of disdain. -- Jorge Luis Borges A clause is a group of related words that has both a subject and a predicate. A clause can be a complete sentence or a part of a sentence.
Remember: a predicate is the verb and its related words: The scrod swam chop-chop up the Gulf of Mexico. The predicate tells what the subject does or what the subject is (as in this sentence or the scrod sentence above, the predicate is italicized). 2 types of clauses: 1)Independent 2)Dependent (also called subordinate)An independent clause forms a complete thought: Danny O'Day named his dog Farfel. Independent clause = subject-verb unit and a complete thought, a sentence. A dependent clause needs the rest of the sentence to make sense. Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. Even if they have a subject and a predicate, they do not form complete sentences. [Although the Martians tried,] they couldn't capture the falafel stand. Brittany sees her pet Drosophila Melanogaster twice a day [because she loves him]. So the independent clause can hold it's own in word world. The independent clause is a living breathing sentence. But a dependent clause also known as a subordinate clause belongs to a lower order and is not a fully developed sentence. Alone, this clause is a fragment. The dependent clause needs an independent clause attached to it to survive.
When Farel feels dizzy, He must drink a Coke Slurpy.
When Farfel feels dizzy=subordinate clause.
The thought here is incomplete. It makes us think or "Go on. Tell me more."
He just drink a Coke Slurpy=independent clause
. It has a subject verb unit and complete thought.
Join words, phrases, clauses of the same grammatical structure in a sentence. They are the Tapanzee Bridges of the grammar world. And, but, for, nor, or, so, yet. I cannot find my whippoorwill or my wombat. (two nouns) Charo swung her hips but fell off the stage. (two verbs) If the Ruby throated hummingbird and the squirrel dance the tango until morning, they'll sleep all day long. (two dependent clauses) Mary loofahed daily, yet she still showed signs of detritus. (two independent clauses)
Subordinate Conjunctions (Dependent Words):
Subordinate conjunctions carry you into a dependent clause. If the subordinate clause comes first, use a comma between the the dependent clause (another name for a subordinate clause) and the independent clause. No comma is needed if the subordinate clause comes at the end. Some common subordinate conjunctions: After, though, unless, that, as if, whereas, in order that, unless, since, until, because, before, although, so that, while, even though, where, when.When a sentence starts with a dependent clause (like this one), the subordinate conjunction comes first. It states the circumstances / condition of the independent clause. When Ralph walked in the room, the chickens stopped clucking. The chickens stopped clucking when Ralph walked in the room. _________________________________
Comma Splices and Run-Ons Redux:
The Comma Splice: When one independent clause (a complete sentence) is followed by another independent clause, never use a comma between them, use a period or a semicolon or a comma followed by a joining word. Not this: Yosef has diverse taste in magazines, he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook. But this: Yosef has diverse taste in magazines; he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook. Or this: Yosef has diverse taste in magazines. He reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook. Of course, you can join two independent clauses with a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet). Yosef has diverse taste in magazines, for he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook. But, if the second clause is preceded by an adverb, such as however, moreover, therefore, or thus, a semicolon should be used. Yosef has diverse taste in magazines; therefore, he reads All About Beer, Chevy Truck World, and Redbook. Important style point: If the clauses are short, a comma can be used: Yosef reads magazines, magazines read Yosef.
For more information on sentences click here, or click the above Grammar-Mad, Bubble-Man comic.
Click the MLA logo below to learn how to document sources from the web:
MLA: In-text citation from an anthology (from Diana Hacker)
Put the name of the author of the work (not the editor of the anthology) in the signal phrase or the parentheses.
In Susan Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers," Mrs. Hale describes both a style of quilting and a murder weapon when she utters the last words of the story: "We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson" (302). In the list of works cited, the work is alphabetized under Glaspell, not under the name of the editor of the anthology.
Glaspell, Susan. "A Jury of Her Peers." Literature and ItsWriters: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama._____________________________________________
Ed. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford, 2001. 286-302.
Works cited from an anthology
Give the elements in this order:
- The name of the author of the selection (not the name of the editor of the anthology)
- The title of the selection
- The title of the anthology
- The name of the editor, preceded by "Ed." for "Edited by"
- Publication information
- The pages on which the selection appear
If you wish, you may cross-reference two or more works from the same anthology. Provide an entry for the anthology. Then in separate entries list the author and title of each selection, followed by the last name of the editor of the anthology and the page numbers on which the selection appears.
Desai, Anita. "Scholar and Gypsy." Craig 251-73.
Malouf, David. "The Kyogle Line." Craig 390-96.
Alphabetize the entry for the anthology under the name of its editor (Craig); alphabetize the entries for the selections under the names of the authors (Desai, Malouf).
Click here for Diana Hacker's MLA Documenting sources site, or click the Hacker pic above
Click here to check out an MLA sample paper.
Three Parts to Your Essay
The essay consists of three parts: one, the main argument or thesis; two, that argument's three points of support; and three, the summary, tying it all together, synthesizing the work and offering your opinion.
The Three Parts
1) opener (first paragraph): an attention gettting opener, the three points that you will use in the body of your paper and your thesis.
2) Body: analysis of the three points, taken in order from your first paragraph, that promote your thesis mentioned in the opening. You will offer paragraph per point.
3) Ending: tying your argument together with an ending that includes your opinion (synthesis).
Plan of development: points 1,2, and 3
The introduction must attract the reader.
The plan of development is a list of points that support the thesis. The points are offered in the order they are given.
Thesis: the main idea in two parts: topic and your opinion.
First Supporting Paragraph
|Topic sentence (point 1)|
Specific evidence (lots of it)
The topic sentence is the first supporting point for your thesis, and the specific evidence delves into you topic sentence.
Second Supporting Paragraph
|Topic sentence (point 2)|
Specific evidence (lots of it)
The topic sentence advances the second supporting point for your thesis, and the specific evidence develops that point.
Third Supporting Paragraph
|Topic sentence (point 3)|
Specific evidence (lots of it)
The topic sentence advances the third supporting point for your thesis, and the specific evidence develops that point.
|Summary, conclusion or both|
A summary is a restatement of the thesis and its main points. A conclusion is a final thought or tow stemming from the subject of the paper.
The Compare and Contrast Essay
First, let’s explain compare and contrast:
When we compare, we show our readers a subject's similarities.
When we contrast, we show our readers a subject's differences.
Compare and Contrast essays are learning-process essays. You learn about your subject as you gather and organize information.
This type of essay takes a bit of organization, and it's this organizational process, this gathering of facts that helps you learn as you go.
You will create lists of qualities or traits that each of your subjects have, and as you do this, you will discover insights to your subject that, at first glance, you may not have realized were there.
It’s like buying a new shirt. The moment you spread it out on your bed, you start seeing things you hadn't noticed in the store. Perhaps a button is lose, or the pocket is torn, or it's three sizes too big. But there's more! As an intelligent, probing writer, you're going to ask questions of this shirt: why, what, where, when, how, who. Why are buttons on the collar? What other type of shirt does this shirt remind you of? Where was it made? When was it made? How did it get to your store and into your hands? Who made it? The questions are endless. But you must ask them to understand your subject. Why, what, where, when, how, who, these questions will allow you to probe into the core and the reason this shirt exists.
The same type of probing and uncovering will happen to you as you outline your subject's qualities. You’ll discover all sorts of new things as you ask why, what, where, when, how, who, and as you uncover these new points, your essay will change. In the end, most essays end up far different than expected.
You will offer a thesis, like in an argumentative essay, but in this essay, your thesis sets the tone of your paper. In other words, through your thesis, you want the reader to understand what you plan to compare.
Keep it simple: Your thesis will be one or two sentences on what you want to offer, and if you’re comparing, contrasting, or doing both (see the next section)
If possible, find an interesting subject about which you can write. This is important because your enthusiasm will bleed into your work.
This essay calls for an outline list: you are going to list the qualities of both subjects, qualities that can be compared, contrasted, or shared.
For example: let's say your comparing and contrasting surfing to snowboarding. Your first job is to list the qualities of each subject. From these qualities and your insight, you can then develop your thesis.
|Qualities of A: surfing
||Qualities of B: snowboarding|
|surf on water
||both use a water medium
||snowboard on snow|
|need wetsuits and trunks
||both require special clothing
||need winter clothes and boots|
A thesis for the qualities above might read: Though surfing and snowboarding are done in different seasons, these sports are far more similar than different.
Of course, the list above is incomplete. You keep listing qualities until you believe you have enough information to write a valid essay. A list of five to ten qualities works well for the average paper. But you may have to list twenty qualities to get five that will work for you. When listing, it is good to overdo it; this way, when you're ready to write your paper, you can weed out the qualities that won't work and pick the best of the bunch.
Opening: You will begin your essay, introducing the subjects you plan to compare and contrast and ending your fist paragraph with your thesis.
Body: Paragraph by paragraph, offer one subject quality at a time.
Ending: As in the argumentative essay, bring it all together. Go back to your thesis
Remember: There are no hard and fast rules as to how many comparisons or contrasts you should offer. For a thorough look into your subject, you must offer enough comparisons or contrasts or both to make a valid statement.
More on Compare and Contrast Essays
Click here for the University of Washington's Political Science Writing Center
Click here for the Harvard University Writing Center
Click here for the Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Need research help?
Click here for Mesa College Library Resources.
Click here for the Mesa College Library Catalogue.
Click here for article and reference databases