Learning about America From Americans Living Abroad

this is a course website for students in English 367.01C at ohio state university, autumn 2004. the creator of the site is the teacher--bob eckhart. this is how i am communicating with my class and how they can communciate with each other.

My Photo

I am a teacher at OSU and most of my blogs are intended for my students...for me to post information to them and for them to share information with their classmates.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

start of week 7

i am grading your blog analysis #5 papers, and it occurs to me that i have forgotten to tell you that after i make my comments [and give them a grade], i still expect you to go back to the original post and edit it...not just "correct" the mistakes, but improve your vague language, etc. revision is a *key* component of the writing process, and nowhere is it as easy to do as it is on a blog.

also, there is one aspect of blogs i haven't asked you to think about yet, but i'm asking you now: advertising. how do banner ads [and pop-ups?] play a part in the blogging experience. sometimes i know that bloggers earn revenue from ads, and certainly, the free blog-sites sustain themselves in this regard as well. so, now that we have been analyzing fundamental parts of blogs since late-september, i want you to start thinking about another issue in relation to them...advertising.

hope you've having a good weekend....bob

Thursday, October 28, 2004

end of week 6--homework over the weekend

okay, folks.....the quarter is more than half over...and it will end very quickly, so i think this calls for "drastic" action--some homework this weekend. ha! today should you submit a blog analysis [#5], and on tuesday, i would like you to submit a few paragraphs about your Blog #2--we will call this your Proposal.

in this proposal, i want you to tell me the main subject area of the blog and what your ideas are for it. try to answer these questions:

1) what is the main message of my blog? how did i choose this subject area?

2) who is the audience? how will they find the blog? how often will they want to visit it?

3) how does this blog match my current interests as well as my future and/or career interests?

thanks for listening and have a nice weekend :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

writing tip #1

some of you may have overheard me and some of your classmates talking about the word "sic" which is used after a quotation when the person you are quoting has spelled a word wrong or used an incorrect fact. this is the way that you, the writer, acknowledge to the reader that you recognize the mistakte.

here is the definition from dictionary.com:


( P ) Pronunciation Key (sk)adv.

Thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally.

start of the second half (week 6)

okay, today is probably the day we should start to get serious. the quarter is half over and for the last 5 weeks we have all been trying to figure out how this course works. you folks have done a relatively good job with your blog analysis papers, but keeping in mind that this is a *writing* class, i want you to start getting more focused and do a better job on them. instead of slipping into a routine where you churn out another 2-page paper every week in a methodical manner, i want you to start being more reflective about what you're doing. i want you to take some time to seriously think about what you're writing through all 4 stages--(1) pre-writing, (2) writing, (3) revising, and (4) editing--of the writing process.

with this in mind, when you are writing the first section [description of the blog], please do a thorough job of describing the layout, color-scheme, links, and functionality of it. as for the second section [description of the blogger], please do more than give me more than the race/class/gender of the author. after reading many of the posts, you should be able to form a composite of who this author is. in the next section [analysis of the blog], do some serious analyzing. evaluate whether the blog is effective and support your conclusion with evidence--quotations from the source text. finally, in the fourth section [what i learned about america], compare your perceptions of america to the perceptions of this blogger from abroad. don't lose sight of the fact that this is a class called "The American Experience"...so you should be starting to formulate some sense for what the american experience is and how the american experience is different for everyone, especially americans living abroad.


ps. i will give you a hint about the final exam: it will probably ask you to write a cohesive 3-5 page paper about "the american experience" based on what you have learned about america throughout the quarter.......your evidence and support will be examples from the blogs you've read, etc.