[amended from Delia DeCourcy, Alan Jacobs, and Bill Wolff]
Your Pen.io account is a place to create simple pages that explore ideas we discuss in class, to write about related concepts of interest, and to ask questions about them. When creating, designing, and writing your Pen.io page(s), please complete the following:
- Sign in using the Twitter account created for this class.
- Choose a professional and meaningful title, subtitle, and web address for each page. That is, don't use "English-Assignment-1.pen.io" as an address or title.
- Compose a brief, but detailed summary of each page, i.e., provide potential readers with contextual information so they understand what the page is about.
- SPECIAL TO #342VS & #513DR: Write a 50-word summary of the arguments, narratives, or discussions you read. (Scroll to page bottom for further details.)
- Email the instructor a link to each completed page.
- Share a link to each completed page on Twitter.
There is no set requirement for the length of a Pen.io page. One of the features of the web medium and the characteristics of individual pages is that length and quantity are determined by content and goals. However, each page you make should be thorough in discussing the subject at hand.
During the weeks regular Pen.io pages are required, be sure to create either a page that extends the class discussion or a page that explores an area of course-related interest particular to you. These pages should serve as exploratory, introductory writing and thinking toward larger, later assignments. I encourage you to interpret, question, link to, quote from, and respond to anything and everything we read this semester, including peers' Pen.io pages.
Again, Pen.io pages in this course should be concerned with the regular examination of ideas and provide concise arguments via unique viewpoint and voice. With that in mind, I encourage you to:
- Find new ways of saying what you think you want to say.
- Try PenZen, a distraction-free writing tool built on the Pen.io engine.
- See how Pen.io works and what happens when you make changes.
- Make clear to readers that there is substantive thought behind the ideas presented.
- Push yourself to explore the ways you can get at ideas through the use of different media.
- Have specific references (audio, hyperlinks, images, video) as means of support.
The more you engage with, customize, and explore Pen.io, the more effective it will be and the more you will get out of this semester-long assignment.
SPECIAL TO #342VS & #513DR
[amended from Alice Robison]
As detailed on our syllabus, you are expected to complete a good amount of reading every week for class. Our larger, longer sequences are based on these readings. In order to help you keep up in class participation and to prepare you for these larger, longer sequences, you must complete a short writing assignment.
This assignment requires you to begin each Pen.io page with a summary or analysis of all the readings for that week. In a single sentence of no more than 50 words, write a summary of the arguments, narratives, or discussions you read. Each single sentence should summarize or analyze the week's readings. Please do not provide criticism of the text—we'll save that for class.
Now, what's the difference between a summary and analysis? A summary offers a short description of the topics or positions discussed and offered by the authors of the texts. An analysis seeks to find a common thread among the texts and shows their relation to one another. It may seem at first that a summary is easier to write than an analysis, but don't be fooled! Both are equally difficult, especially when you're limited to 50 words.