Blog Prompt #6: Race & Multiculturalism in Malaysia

Blog Post #6 Due: Tues, 4/12 (by 9am) // Comment #5 Due: Fri, 4/13 (by 9am) 

  • Introduce the excerpt from Daniel Goh & Philip Holden’s chapter on “Postcoloniality, Race, and Multiculturalism.” Be sure to provide key publication information and a brief summary.

Cover of the book Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore

  • Identify one argument they make about multiculturalism in Malaysia that you find particularly interesting. Summarize and outline this argument using a combination of paraphrasing and quotations.

 

  • Explain how this point about multiculturalism connects, overlaps, or diverges from any other argument about multiculturalism that we’ve discussed in our class thus far. Be sure to quote/cite a particular source (e.g. Bourne from our US unit, Paris from our Canada unit, etc.) to illustrate this comparison. Illustrate what it is about this comparison that you find interesting or important.

Blog Prompt #5: The Ostrich

Blog Post #5 Due: Thurs, 3/29 (by 9am) // Comment #5 Due: Fri, 3/30 (by 9am) 

  • Introduce the short story, “The Orchid,” and describe/contextualize one scene that you find especially compelling. You might want to consider shifts in character development, tensions between characters, narrative style/structure, specific literary devices, etc. Explain why you find this scene so interesting. What captures your attention? Why do you find yourself returning to or lingering on this scene?

Image ofr Leila Aboulela's The Ostrich

  • Then, provide a short but detailed close reading of one specific quote and at least one specific literary device within this scene. Your goal is to illustrate what you find especially noteworthy through rich and layered analysis.

Blog Post #4: Kalman-Lamb

Blog Post #4 Due: Thurs, 3/8  //  Comment #4 Due: Fri, 3/9 (9am)

A snowboarder at the 2010 Winter Olympics soars through the Olympic Rings

A snowboarder soaring past the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Feb. 12, 2010.
Michael Kappeler—AFP/Getty Images (Brittanica)

Introduce Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s article, “A Portrait of This Country,” by providing key publication details including the author’s name, the full article title, and publication details. Note: You will need to do a little research online for this article and the journal, TOPIAS, to figure out the year of publication. Then, in a concise paragraph, briefly summarize the article:

 

  • Provide a concise statement of the text’s main goal. What is the main issue the text addresses? Look for a thesis statement in the essay that identifies its objectives and then write a few concise sentences that represent the goal.
  • Outline the text’s central arguments. Summarize how the author makes some of his key arguments: what evidence does he provide, how does he link key ideas, who/what does he cite?

Once you have summarized the article, provide a brief paragraph reflecting on the implications of these key ideas. Ask yourself what the text is good for, and use any combination of these guiding questions to help you shape your reflection:

  • How does this article help you analyze the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics?
  • What did you notice or notice differently about the ceremonies, in comparison to Kalman-Lamb’s analysis?
  • What questions does this article raise for you?

Blog Prompt #3: McKegney or Paris

Blog Post #3 Due: Thurs, 3/1  //  Comment #3 Due: Mon, 3/5

Image of Erna Paris

Erna Paris: Acclaimed Canadian writer, historian, and journalist

After reading both Sam McKegney’s excerpted book chapter, “Beyond Continuance,” and Erna Paris’ OpEd, “Canadians Must Never Take Multiculturalism for Granted,” introduce your selected text (providing the author’s name, article title, and publication details).Then, in a concise paragraph, briefly summarize one of these texts:

  • Provide a concise statement of the text’s main goal. What is the main issue the text addresses? Look for a thesis statement in the essay that identifies its objectives and then write a few concise sentences that represent the goal.
  • Outline the text’s central ideas. Pay particular attention to illustrating how different ideas are connected to one another.
Image of Prof. Sam McKegney

Dr. Sam McKegney, Associate Professor of English, Queen’s University, Canada

Once you have summarized the article, provide a brief paragraph reflecting on the implications of these key ideas. Ask yourself what the text is good for, and use any combination of these guiding questions to help you shape your reflection:

  • How is this article helpful for introducing you to debates around multiculturalism in a Canadian context?
  • What might be some of the article’s limitations?
  • What questions does this article raise for you?
  • How might you add to, expand, or productively challenge aspects of the author’s arguments?

Blog Prompt #2: “Whereas”

Blog Post #2 Due: Tues, 2/20  //  Comment #2 Due: Thurs, 2/22

Cover of Long Soldier's collection, WHEREASAfter reading both the “Native American Apology Resolution” and Layli Long Soldier’s poem, “WHEREAS,” describe how one specific textual element / literary device within the poem conveys a particular response to the Apology Resolution.

Be sure to introduce a quote(s), zoom in a specific literary device within it, and close read both WHAT response it conveys and HOW it does so. Be sure to refer to the Blog Post assignment sheet for reminders on how to structure and format your post.

“What I Try to Do is Write”: Blog Aspirations & Advice

I have a confession to make. I don’t really think of myself as a creative or vibrant writer. In fact, I consider my writing pretty ordinary. By contrast, I’m in awe of the lyrical and seemingly effortless writing of my friends and colleagues. At times, this assessment of my own writing can stop me in my tracks – it makes writing seem almost impossible and it saps all the joy from the act and art of writing. Does this sound at all familiar to you? I’m guessing it does because I think we’ve all been there – either at some point in time or on a fairly regular basis. But, as Maya Angelou explains, we need to try to write…even if it’s “the most boring and awful stuff.” And so here, on our course blog for ENGL 221, you’ll all engage regularly in this practice of writing. This will be an ongoing and collaborative effort to move past the “boring and awful stuff” in order to find your muse, develop your voice, and expand your ideas.

Maya Angelou quote on writing

Throughout the semester, you are responsible for uploading 6 posts (300-400 words each). Each post will offer a polished, focused response to a specific prompt, based on one of the assigned primary or secondary texts (prompts will be posted here as well). These short writing assignments will help you develop ideas and arguments for in-class discussions and upcoming course assignments, while also honing your critical thinking and writing skills. For each week that a blog post is due, you will also upload one comment (150-250 words) in response to a peer’s post. Blog posts and comments are due by class time on the assigned date, unless otherwise specified.

Jimmy Fallon

Refer to the blog post and blog comment assignment sheets (uploaded to Moodle) for details on the assignment requirements and how they will be graded. At its core, your blog post should develop an interesting and original response to the assigned prompt. Analysis of the assigned text should be detailed, specific, nuanced, and creative. Let your voice flow freely, but be sure to cite and analyze specific quotes from the assigned text. Focus on developing clear and fluid sentences, effective and creative transitions, and use at least one image or gif to amplify your ideas. For tips on crafting an effective blog post, see this list of “10 Crucial Points.” And for some great examples of student blog posts for Dickinson English courses, check out Prof. Kersh’s 2017 course, “Writing in and for Digital Environments. You might also enjoy checking out her students’ projects and their posts on what makes a great blog.

Remember that this is a space in which we’ll be collectively developing clear, vibrant, and analytical writing. In order to do so, we need to keep in mind that writing is a labor, a practice, and an art!

 

Blog Prompt #1: “The New Colossus”

Blog Post #1 Due: Tues, 2/6  //  Comment #1 Due: Thurs, 2/8

Having read Emma Lazarus’ famous poem, “The New Colossus,” identify one simile or metaphor that you find especially significant. Describe and quote this simile/metaphor and illustrate how it functions. Explain what effects it produceshow it produces these effects, and why these effects matter. In other words, think about the forces operating behind this simile/metaphor: what are the layers through which they create a particular impact on the reader? Consider not only the simile/metaphor itself, but its relationship to other textual elements within the poem. Be sure to refer to the blog post assignment sheet for information on requirements and formatting.

John W. Tomac's cover for the Feb 2017 issue of The New Yorker

John W. Tomac’s cover for the Feb 2017 issue of The New Yorker