About NP

Nicole Papaioannou is a Ph.D. candidate at St. John's University. She is currently working on a student-centered grounded theory dissertation, which focuses on issues central to writing across the curriculum/writing in the disciplines scholarship. In her professional life, she acts as Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design at Fulcrum Labs, where she leads course creation and oversees instructional designers, copyeditors, and authoring assistants. She also loves horseback riding, photography, dancing, hiking, and playing with her rescue dog, Cupid.

Pick 5 in Order of Importance

Pick the top 5 features that are important to apply if you want to perform “good writing.”

List them in the order of importance (from most to less important) in a comment below.

Think carefully about which you feel are most important, as the top 5 will be the aspects I will be considering while grading portfolios.


National Poetry Month: Write Your Own Poem

Now that you’ve had some time to look at the poetry written by others, it’s your turn to do a little writing.

Use your favorite poem to help you construct a poem. To do this, you can:

  • apply one of the themes from the poem
  • use the same form
  • choose an image to bounce off of
  • mimic the voice
  • apply the same lens (historical, feminist, Marxist, etc.)


RAFT OR is an acronym that can help you conceptualize the rhetorical situation. Start to think about these components in your piece and why you’ve chosen to approach them the way that you have.

Role — Who do you aim to be? A peer? An expert? An insider? An outsider? Why is that the right role to take on?

Audience — Who are you talking to? Why is that the best audience to write for?

Form — What is the form that you have chosen to write in, and why is that the most effective one?

Topic — Self-explanatory

Organization — How will you arrange this piece so that readers can follow your flow of ideas? Chronologically? In order of importance? Pros and cons?

Research — What kind of research or evidence do you need to include to make a convincing point?

The Quote Sandwich

The best way to use research in a paper, or any context really, is to make a quote sandwich. The quote (or paraphrase, piece of evidence, example) should be situated between context and analysis.

Introduce: Where did your quote/paraphrased idea come from? Who said it? A doctor? A lawyer? A love expert? A magazine editor? Your bff? And in what context? What is the conversation surrounding this idea?

Quote/Paraphrase: I think this is self-explanatory. Don’t forget to use proper MLA citations! Even if it’s a letter, you can always edit them out of your real copy, but for class purposes, I will need to know that you know how to do them.

Interpret: How did you understand it when you did a close reading?

Analyze and Connect the Dots: What does this quote mean to your argument or inquiry? What does it add to your discussion? Why is it important? Why does it matter?

Final Portfolio

What Makes Up a Final Portfolio?

Title: Your final portfolio must have a creative title. My/The Final Portfolio is not an acceptable title. Think about what you want readers to focus on in your work or something that describes the work that you are presenting in your portfolio to help you come up with one.

Table of Contents: This may be done differently depending on the form your final portfolio takes, but there must be some way for readers to figure out what piece went where.

Reflection: This is one of the most important pieces of your portfolio. It is the place where you tell readers about your work and about who you are as a writer. It also gives me insight into the ways that you have revised your pieces, since I may not be able to tell by simply looking at a piece. In fact, often times, an outstanding analytical reflection paper can help bolster weaker writing. You should use this as a place to talk about why you included specific pieces, how these pieces and your writing in general evolved (if you think it did), and your writing strengths and weaknesses at this stage in the game. Closer to the end of the semester, I will give you a list of questions to help prompt your thinking.

However, the reflection letter is not a course evaluation. Don’t mistake talking about your growth as a writer with talking about the awesomeness/awfulness of this class. Saying “Nicole was a terrible teacher” won’t really help an audience understand who you feel you are as a writer or what you think your portfolio offers readers.

And since students always ask, I will tell you in advance that there is no page minimum technically, but I’d find it hard to believe that anyone could do a sufficient job in less than 3 pages. I am willing to read as much as you’d like to write.

You can place the reflection anywhere in your portfolio that you so choose– beginning, end, middle—as long as you’ve given thought to why that place is the right place for it. You might also choose to write a large whole-portfolio reflection and a smaller reflection on each piece of writing.

Contents: The contents of the portfolio should be pieces of writing that reflect your best work and/or the work that means the most to you. It is a display of who you have become as a writer. There are some basic guidelines to follow, however. You must include:

  • 2 revised major assignments (Literacy Narrative, Somewhere I Belong project, Writing as Activism project)
  • 2 revised blogs
  • 1 revised research journal
  • 1 piece of your best feedback to a classmate and a short reflection (Why is it the best feedback?)
  • 1 other revised piece of your choice (freewrites, the “most boring essay ever” workshop, visit to the writing center reflection, additional blogs, additional research journals, PSA, etc.)
  • optional: anything else that you have written in this course that you want to include

Everything in your portfolio must be significantly revised from the last draft that you turned in, and it should be polished for an audience.


What Does a Final Portfolio Look Like?

There are several ways that you may approach the final portfolio.

You can create a website. For this, I recommend GoogleSites because it’s free and easy to use. This, to me, seems like the most logical option for many of you. You could also simply add pages to your WordPress blog. LiveBinder is another interesting option, but it does not allow you to paste in Word Documents, only PDFs and websites.

You can use Glogster to create an interactive digital poster that links to your work. This would be useful if you did many documentary style projects.

You can give me a typical Word Document or PDF file. If you’re including several digital projects (blogs, documentaries, etc.), this may not be the best option. You can, of course, include links, but your ability to personalize a document is limited.

You can choose some other option not listed here, as long as you run it by me and get approval first.


Turning It In

The portfolio will be due at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. You should post the link, Word document, or PDF to your blog under a posted titled “Final Portfolio.”

The final portfolio will be worth 30% of your grade.

If I do not receive your final portfolio, you will not pass this class. Let me repeat that: if you do not hand in your portfolio on time, you will fail.

Rhetorical Analysis

Using the two articles that you (hopefully) brought to class today, we are going to practice performing rhetorical analysis. Rhetorical analysis is important because it helps you to deconstruct arguments, assess their validity, and also to emulate the author’s craft if you find her or his rhetoric particularly effective. It also looks at the cultural aspects that come into play so that you are no longer simply focused on the simple “yes” or “no,” “for” or “against” debate, but you can actually start to think about why things are they way that they are.

Performing rhetorical analysis isn’t super difficult, but it does take some practice. We’ll start with babysteps.

1. Write a brief one paragraph summary of each article thinking about the 5 Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) and maybe the one H (How?) if necessary.

2. For each piece, think about the rhetorical triangle that you learned a few weeks ago. How do the parts of the rhetorical triangle come into play in each piece? How does the author establish ethos (ethics/credibility/authority), pathos (emotional draw/audience awareness), and logos (rationality/logic/formal textual functions)? Then, consider whether, given the criteria, these arguments are effective or flawed, and how so?

3.In order to effectively be part of a discourse community, you need to learn the language of that community. Go though these two pieces and begin to pull out the key words. What is the language necessary to understand and use to be part of this debate/advocacy plan?

4. This is the most important one. What does the way that these pieces are constructed tell you about the culture surrounding the debate/advocacy plan? What kind of rhetoric is being used, and why? What does that tell us about how these debaters view the society that they must address?

If you’re still confused, Brigham Young University’s Creative Commons offer some additional questions that may help to clarify the foundations of rhetorical analysis: http://rhetoric.byu.edu/pedagogy/rhetorical%20analysis%20heuristic.htm

Monday 3/26 (also emailed to you)

Hello ENG1000Cers,

Unfortunately, I have to cancel tomorrow night’s class and all conferences set for tomorrow. I am not happy about this, but we will make do. To make up for the lost time, I want everyone to do the following:

1. Post your proposal to your blog ***by Monday night***. It must have all the components: the topic, the audience, the form, and how you will find out what you want to know.

2. Pick four people’s proposals to respond to ***by Wednesday***. Try to pick ones that haven’t already been commented on so that everyone gets some feedback. Don’t just say, “That’s great.” That is not real feedback. What do you like about it? Why do you like it? What do you think needs to be further developed? Are you convinced that their project is doing? Give the writer something he or she can work with so that he or she can move their ideas forward into the first draft phase. You can also recommend resources or questions that the writer should pose for her or his self. This is very helpful for many writers.

3. Research journals 1 & 2 are still due for next week. Journal # 1 was supposed to be done in class. You should take the cancelled class time to work on it, so that you are not overwhelmed. I will accept interviews that you have conducted as alternatives to research journal # 2. These are due by class time on Monday.

4. Find two articles that argue for the same topic, one that advocates for the change and one that stands against it in some way. Either print them or store them on your computer for class on Monday. You don’t have to do anything with them just yet, but do make sure to have them. You also may want one back up, just in case. These do not have to be about your topic exactly. For instance, one of you may be writing about printers on campus, but could broaden to information technology (IT) services or resources on college campuses if no one was arguing about printers.

CONFERENCES: I’m sorry to say that I will not be able to make it to the conferences tomorrow either. If you need to speak with me this week and it cannot wait, we can arrange either a Google chat or a Skype meeting. If you would rather reschedule, then we can do that on Monday.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. I do hate to cancel class, especially at this point in the semester when there is so much to be done. Please feel free to email me if you have questions.