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WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 1 Discussion
DQ1 Thinking About Experience and Goals
WRTG 112 is a required course for all students, so that is probably one reason you are taking it. However, we all have individual backgrounds and goals that affect how we approach a learning experience. Read over the course syllabus, and then post your responses to the following questions in two paragraphs:
What prior experiences do you have that inform how you approach this class? This could be, for example, writing experience that you think will either help or hurt you as you work on the academic essays assigned in class.
What are some of your aspirations (educational, professional, or other goals) that you can work toward by taking Introduction to Writing, and how might this course help you on your path toward your goals? Which, if any, of the reasons for taking college courses discussed by Michelle Singletary in “Getting to the Real Point of College” apply to you?
DQ2 Personal Grammar Challenges
Each week in WRTG 112, we will have a brief lesson on a grammar or punctuation topic, and you will be encouraged to apply the lesson to your own writing. At the same time, you can be working toward your own goals for improved mastery of grammar and punctuation.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Identify at least one area of grammar or punctuation in which you think you have room for improvement. How could you work towards the goal of improving in this area? Answer in one paragraph.
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 2 Discussion
DQ1 Your Research Topic and Question
The Issue Exploration assignment helps students to select a research topic and begin to moving toward a more specific research question. In this discussion, work with your classmates on identifying a research question that is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
After reviewing “Your Research Question,” consider potential questions you may want to answer with your research. Post your topic and possible research question(s) here.
DQ2 Making Choices About Sentence Boundaries
In every paragraph we write, we make choices about sentence boundaries: Where will we place a period and start a new sentence? Where might we consider using semicolons to connect related independent clauses? Where will we join ideas together in a compound sentence? In this week’s grammar discussion, along with your peers, you will think about these questions in relation to your own writing.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Post a draft of a paragraph for your first assignment. Identify at least one sentence boundary choice you made, and comment on the reasons for that choice and possible alternatives.
Example of an initial post:
When I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, I had an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come: I failed a paper for the first time. Okay, I didn’t exactly fail, but I got a D, which felt like failing. The grade was unexpected, it affected me like a slap in the face. It was only through the encouragement of the very teacher who gave me the D that I was able to persevere with a more determined attitude than ever.
I made a choice to use a colon after “an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come.” I did that because the next sentence describes that experience, and the colon lets readers know that description is coming. I could have used a period instead, but I think that seems choppier. It would look like this: “When I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, I had an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come. I failed a paper for the first time.”
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 3 Discussion
DQ1 Identifying and Evaluating Sources
For this discussion topic, you will post four sources that you consider possible sources for your research project. At least two of these should be scholarly journal articles.
For each source, please post your answers to the following:
Provide an APA-style reference citation for the source. Remember that you can use CiteFast if you wish.
What type of document is the source (journal article, news article, government document, etc.), and how can you tell?
When considering the usefulness of this source for your research project, what positive and/or negative features can you identify? Factors you may wish to consider include focus, credibility, detail, and audience.
Optional question: Feel free to comment on what search strategies you employed to find your sources.
DQ2 Making Choices About Commas
Post a paragraph from any writing you have done recently. Then identify one choice you made with regard to commas (either using a comma or not using a comma). Comment on the reasons for your choice. Are there other alternatives for punctuating the sentence that you might consider?
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 4 Discussion
DQ1 Post Your Working Thesis Statement and Sentence Outline
Post your working thesis statement and sentence outline here. Make sure that each topic sentence in your outline has a transition and uses words that tie it in with the thesis statement.
DQ2 Using Apostrophes in Your Writing
Post a sentence from any of your own recent writing that used or should have used an apostrophe. Did you use the apostrophe correctly? Please explain.
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 5 Discussion
DQ1 Developing a Body Paragraph
For this discussion, you will develop one BODY paragraph of your research essay. Your paragraph will begin with one of the topic sentences from your sentence outline. (Feel free to revise the topic sentence if you think it would be beneficial.) It will then provide major and minor details to develop the idea in the topic sentence. Consider where evidence from your sources will help support your ideas, and make sure you comment on the evidence to show how it supports the topic sentence. Post your paragraph here.
Guided response (by Friday):
Choose a paragraph posted by one of your peers. Then find an example of evidence used in the paragraph and consider it in light of the reading on Using Evidence. What characteristics of weak or strong evidence, or of effective or ineffective quotation do you observe? Please be constructive in your comments, so that if you find areas for improvement, you point them out respectfully and include suggestions for more effective use of evidence.
DQ2 Other Punctuation Marks
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Which punctuation marks do you think are most difficult to use correctly? Why? What might you do to help remember the rules for these punctuation marks or to make effective choices about these punctuation marks?
Guided response (by Friday):
Choose a classmate’s post about a punctuation marks, and find an example of effective use of that punctuation marks. The example could come from your own writing or from outside published writing. Quote the example and explain what is effective about the punctuation choice.
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 6 Discussion
DQ1 Expectations in Context
The article “Young Writer With a Following Admits Fabricating Dylan Quotes in Book” describes the situation of Jonah Lehrer, a writer who violated expectations regarding the integrity of his work.
Expectations for writers can vary from one context to another. In WRTG 112, we have been studying how to use sources in a research paper. In this discussion, we will explore how the expectations for college research writing are similar and/or different from expectations in other writing contexts.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Respond to the following in 1-2 paragraphs.
Summarize the expectations for use of sources in a college research paper, as you understand them.
In what ways are these expectations similar to or different from expectations you have observed in other contexts, such as workplace, personal, or journalistic writing? You might use observations from your reading about Jonah Lehrer in addition to personal experience in your response.
Guided response (by Friday):
Respond to at least of your classmates. Are there areas in which your understanding differs from theirs? What can you add to their observations?
DQ2 Using Pronouns Effectively
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Post one paragraph from any of your recent writing, and do the following:
Identify all pronouns in your paragraph. Remember that pronouns include personal pronouns like “she,” “her,” and “it”; indefinite pronouns like “everyone,” “each,” and “all”; and relative pronouns like “that” and “which.”
Identify the antecedent of each pronoun in your paragraph. The antecedent is the noun to which the pronoun refers.
If you found any of the three types of pronoun problems—unclear pronoun reference, vague subject pronoun, or agreement error—in your paragraph, identify the problem and revise the problematic sentence.
Guided response (by Friday):
In response to one of your peers:
Identify any additional pronoun problems you observed in the paragraph.
Provide suggestions to improve the use of pronouns in the paragraph.
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 7 Discussion
DQ1 Coherence in Your Writing
This week, we have studied coherence — the flow from one idea to the next — in writing. Let’s practice introducing and recognizing coherence. We looked at four specific ways of improving coherence:
Transitional words and phrases
Internet users do not always think about how their internet data is being used. Nonetheless, collecting and using data about search habits is big business.
Repetition of key works and phrases
Companies are able to track the searches made by various demographics and use data about these searches to target advertisements to likely customers. Customers will see advertisements that match their interests, but they have give up some privacy in return.
Pronoun reference
For some customers, this loss of privacy is acceptable, while others are deeply concerned.
Customers may worry about their search data getting into the wrong hands or about further intrusion into their private lives.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Select one paragraph of your research paper draft and examine it for examples of the above four coherence tools. If you do not find at least two of the tools in use, revise your paragraph so that it uses at least two of the tools. Post your paragraph here. Do not identify the coherence tools you used; you will be analyzing each other’s paragraphs in your guided response.
Guided response (by Friday):
Choose the paragraph posted by one of your peers, and try to identify the use of at least two coherence tools. Mention any ideas you have for improved coherence in the paragraph.
DQ2 Parallel Structure
Initial post (by Wednesday):
This week we have looked at the use of parallel structure in a list. You have seen several examples of sentences with lists that do not use parallel structure and thought about how to revise them. As you look back at some of those sentences, what effect do you think that parallel structure has? Does it make sentences easier to understand? Does it make the sentences sound more rhythmic? Or would you argue that parallel structure is not that important? Answer in a paragraph, and quote sentences that do or do not use parallel structure in your response.
Guided response (by Friday):
Respond to the point of view expressed in at least one other person’s post. Do you share the person’s point of view? Why or why not?
WRTG112 Introduction to Academic Writing II
Week 8 Discussion
DQ1 Thinking about Challenges and Achievements
In “How I Found the Time for Reflective Learning,” Dr. Richard Eve explains why he believes reflection is important to his practice as a surgeon and how he fits reflection into his busy life. Reflection is a beneficial skill for a variety of learners, tasks, and goals. As we near the end of the course, it is useful to look back and consider what was learned and how it was learned, as well as what challenges arose. This reflection will help you make the most of your learning in WRTG 112 and can inform how you approach future courses and writing endeavors.
You may wish to refer to the reading “How I Found the Time for Reflective Learning” in your responses to this discussion.
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Respond to the following in 2-3 paragraphs:
(1) What challenges did you face in our course, and how did you handle them? Would you respond differently to those challenges in future courses?
(2) Has your attitude towards writing changed during this course? Why or why not?
(3) Consider the aspirations you identified in Week 1. As the course nears an end, do you believe your learning in Introduction to Writing has been effective in helping you move toward your goals? Why or why not? You might mention aspects of your way of working in the course and/or elements of the course itself.
Guided response (by Friday):
Introspection is valuable in developing ourselves, but we cannot discount the value of learning from those around us. Select at least one peer and comment on what aspects of that person’s experience were instructive or helpful for you. How did the person help you think about things in a different way?
DQ2 Using Active and Passive Voice
Initial post (by Wednesday):
Post one paragraph from your recent writing that contains a sentence in passive voice. Remember that in a passive voice, the subject of the sentence does not do an action; the subject of the sentence is acted upon.
Example: The meeting minutes are written by a different committee member each week.
In this passive sentence, the subject, “minutes,” does not do any writing. The minutes are written by committee members.
Then respond to the following:
Rewrite your sentence in active voice.
Example: A different committee member writes the meeting minutes each week.
Given the meaning and context of your particular sentence, which version is more effective: the active or the passive? Explain your answer.
Guided response (by Friday):
Respond to at least one of your peers. What feedback or suggestions do you have related to the use of active and/or passive in your classmate’s post?

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