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Some resources to help you with the revision process

1 Dec

1. Revision in General:

2. Signal Phrases- easy ways to introduce outside resources:

Various phrases —…/MLAsigphrases__ACR.doc

A list of signal words —

3. Editing:

10 tips for Editing–

Proofreading tips from Purdue —


Reflection Questions

1 Dec

There are three questions that you must address:

Why did you choose the pieces that you chose?

How did these pieces evolve? Give specific examples. Explain why you felt these changes were necessary.

What are your writing strengths and weaknesses now?

Here are some other questions that you might consider when writing your portfolio. You should pick a minimum of 2, but the more you consider, the stronger your reflection will be:

Who do you think you are as a writer at this moment in time? Has that changed since you began college? How so?

Who do you want to be as a writer in the future?

How do you want to use writing in the future?

Has your definition of what makes a person a writer changed at all?

Have your thoughts about why we write evolved?

How do you define “good” writing?

Did any specific assignment, workshop, or feedback help you to improve more so than others?

How do you feel about the feedback that you gave your classmates throughout the semester? Did you learn anything from giving feedback?

You may, of course, choose to talk about things that are not on either of these lists.

Also, don’t feel that you need to address these things in any particular order. Write them in whatever structure is most effective and flows best.


30 Nov

We’ve had nearly a whole semester now of talking about the craft of writing, what makes something “good” writing, and the styles of different writers. Today, I ask you to consider what these terms mean to you. In a blog post of at least 250 words, write a mini-essay that addresses the following.

What is writing?

Why do we write?

What makes someone a writer?

I want you to go back to the texts that we have used to provide examples or evidence for your claims. You may also pull from outside sources. Of course, that doesn’t mean to base your blog entry on those pieces. I want to know your thoughts. The texts are simply sources to help you explain them.

You may want to freewrite about each of these topics first before you organize and polish your thoughts for an audience.

You should post these entries to your blogs.

You should take the time to respond to at least one of your classmate’s posts by tomorrow.

The Soundtrack to Your Project

27 Oct

We listened to some artists today that use their music as a form of activism. Now, I challenge you to do the same. You have two options:

  1. Create a 6+ song soundtrack to your topic. Write an explanation for your decisions. Why did you choose each song? Why did you put them in the order that you have put them in?
  2. Find a song that already exists and rewrite the lyrics to match your topic You don’t have to keep any of the original lyrics. You may also choose an instrumental song. The idea is to have a rhythm to work with and to think about tone. Do you want a happy song? A sad song? An angry song? A slow song? A fast song? Which best conveys your message?

Music: Eminem’s “Like Toy Soldiers”

26 Oct


Step by step, heart to heart, left right left

We all fall down…



Step by step, heart to heart, left right left

We all fall down like toy soldiers

Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win

But the battle wages on for toy soldiers


[Verse 1]

I’m supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure

Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders

I ain’t never supposed to show it, my crew ain’t supposed to know it

Even if it means goin’ toe to toe with a Benzino it don’t matter

I’d never drag them in battles that I can handle unless I absolutely have to

I’m supposed to set an example

I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide ’em

If some shit ever does pop off, I’m supposed to be beside ’em

That Ja shit I tried to squash it, it was too late to stop it

There’s a certain line you just don’t cross and he crossed it

I heard him say Hailie’s name on a song and I just lost it

It was crazy, this shit went way beyond some Jay-z and Nas shit

And even though the battle was won, I feel like we lost it

I spent too much energy on it, honestly I’m exhausted

And I’m so caught in it I almost feel I’m the one who caused it

This ain’t what I’m in hip-hop for, it’s not why I got in it

That was never my object for someone to get killed

Why would I wanna destroy something I help build

It wasn’t my intentions, my intentions was good

I went through my whole career without ever mentionin’ Suge

And that was just out of respect for not runnin’ my mouth

And talkin’ about something that I knew nothing about

Plus Dre told me stay out, this just wasn’t my beef

So I did, I just fell back, watched and gritted my teeth

While he’s all over t.v. down talkin’ a man who literally saved my life

Like fuck it i understand this is business

And this shit just isn’t none of my business

But still knowin’ this shit could pop off at any minute cause




[Verse 2]

There used to be a time when you could just say a rhyme

And wouldn’t have to worry about one of your people dyin’

But now it’s elevated cause once you put someone’s kids in it

The shit gets escalated, it ain’t just words no more is it?

It’s a different ball game, callin’ names and you ain’t just rappin’

We actually tried to stop the 50 and Ja beef from happenin’

Me and Dre had sat with him, kicked it and had a chat with him

And asked him not to start it he wasn’t gonna go after him

Until Ja started yappin’ in magazines how we stabbed him

Fuck it 50 smash ’em, mash ’em and let him have it

Meanwhile my attention is pullin’ in other directions

Some receptionist at The Source who answers phones at his desk

Has an erection for me and thinks that I’ll be his resurrection

Tries to blow the dust off his mic and make a new record

But now he’s fucked the game up cause one of the ways I came up

Was through that publication the same one that made me famous

Now the owner of it has got a grudge against me for nothin’

Well fuck it, that motherfucker can get it too, fuck him then

But I’m so busy being pissed off I don’t stop to think

That we just inherited 50’s beef with Murder Inc.

And he’s inherited mine which is fine ain’t like either of us mind

We still have soldiers that’s on the front line

That’s willing to die for us as soon as we give the orders

Never to extort us, strictly to show they support us

We’ll maybe shout ’em out in a rap or up in a chorus

To show them we love ’em back and let ’em know how important it is

To have Runyan Avenue, soldiers up in our corners

Their loyalty to us is worth more than any award is

But I ain’t tryna have none of my people hurt and murdered

It ain’t worth it, I can’t think of a perfecter way to word it

Then to just say that I love ya’ll too much to see the verdict

I’ll walk away from it all before I let it go any further

But don’t get it twisted, it’s not a plea that I’m coppin’

I’m just willin’ to be the bigger man

If ya’ll can quit poppin’ off at the jaws, well then I can

Cause frankly I’m sick of talkin’

I’m not gonna let someone else’s coffin rest on my conscience cause

Music: Linkin Park’s “Hands Held High”

26 Oct


Turn my mic up louder I got to say something

Light weights step to the side when we come in

Feel it in your chest the syllables get pumping

People on the street they panic and start running

Words on loose leaf sheet complete coming

I jump in my mind and summon the rhyme, I’m dumping

Healing the blind I promise to let the sun in

Sick of the dark ways we march to the drum and

Jump when they tell us that they wanna see jumping

Fuck that I wanna see some fists pumping

Risk something, take back what’s yours

Say something that you know they might attack you for

Cause I’m sick of being treated like I have before

Like it’s stupid standing for what I’m standing for

Like this war’s really just a different brand of war

Like it doesn’t cater the rich and abandon poor

Like they understand you in the back of the jet

When you can’t put gas in your tank

These fuckers are laughing their way to the bank and cashing the cheque

Asking you to have compassion and have some respect

For a leader so nervous in an obvious way

Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day

In their living room laughing like “what did he say?”







In my living room watching but I am not laughing

Cause when it gets tense I know what might happen

World is cold the bold men take action

Have to react or get blown into fractions

Ten years old it’s something to see

Another kid my age drugged under a jeep

Taken and bound and found later under a tree

I wonder if he had thought the next one could be me

Do you see the soldiers they’re out today

They brush the dust from bullet proof vests away

It’s ironic at times like this you pray

But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday

There’s bombs in the buses, bikes, roads

Inside your market, your shops, your clothes

My dad he’s got a lot of fear I know

But enough pride inside not to let that show

My brother had a book he would hold with pride

A little red cover with a broken spine

On the back, he hand-wrote a quote inside

When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die

Meanwhile, the leader just talks away

Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay

And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day

both scared and angry like “what did he say?”

[Chorus x6]


With hands held high into the sky so blue,

As the ocean opens up to swallow you.

Music: Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”

26 Oct

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”


Southern trees bear a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black body swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh

And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck

For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop

Here is a strange and bitter crop.

— Music and lyrics by Lewis Allan, copyright 1940