Lecture topic: Opening Remarks


            I want to welcome all of you to class, and let you know that I am happy you have decided to enroll in this course. My goals for you are very straightforward, and I believe you should adopt them as your goals.


You should demonstrate improvement in your writing, research, and documentation skills. With regard to your writing skills your work should be progressively free of sentence level errors that involve punctuation and grammar. Your prose should acquire a more scholarly tone, which means that your writing should not read as though it is an informal conversation taking place between two friends, but rather like a more formal academic essay. For example, if you were to write a sentence that reads: “There are a lot of problems with this viewpoint,” it should be revised to read: “There are many problems with this viewpoint.” The revision demonstrates but a minor change: the word “many” was substituted for the phrase “a lot,” which does not sound very scholarly. Most of the time the phrase “a lot” can be revised by merely substituting the one of the following words: “many,” “most,” or “much.”


            Work closely with lecture 2, for it is a quick way to square your prose with the style I am teaching, and it will lead to much higher grades.


            For the research and documentation part of this course, which simply means MLA Style Guidelines, you will work closely with the examples provided on my website, some of which are documents of my own composition, and some of which are external links to sources on the web. It is also vitally important for you to realize that as the semester progresses the emphasis on solid research and documentation skills becomes increasingly important. For example, by the time we get to week six and the turn-in of the second major project, students must demonstrate what I consider to be a reasonable skill level in research and documentation. Specifically, you must choose scholarly resources, and document those sources well in your paper. To do well, just come to class regularly, pay attention, and ask questions.


            Finally, I look forward to working with you this semester.