Writing Prompt: Walt Whitman is considered by many critics to be one of the first truly original American poets. He certainly started something new that set him apart from all the poets that came before him. Choose an element that you find interesting in one of the poems from Leaves of Grass or Drum Taps assigned in this module. For your new discussion post, write a short essay of at least 300 words that points out the element and explains why you find it so interesting. Keep in mind that this new post is a Gordon Rule assignment, meaning that the quality of your writing as well as the length will be considered during the evaluation/grading process. Then, reply to at least 3 of your classmates to get full credit for this assignment. Replies can be 30-40 words.
Mini-Essays and Discussions:
The Mini-Essays (your “new thread” in the discussion) are Gordon Rule assignments. Therefore, you should use your best writing skills when you work on these assignments. Each Mini-Essay and Discussion assignment has three basic requirements:
- Prepare: Read the literature that is assignment and take note of its discussion question. Be careful to answer the discussion question for each Mini-Essay. You work needs to be “on topic,” as the saying goes.
- Write: Adhere to the length requirements for the Mini-Essay and the discussion portion of the assigment. “New Threads” should be about 300 words in length. As you write, Blackboard will keep track of your word count, so it’s easy to know where you are. After you submit your new thread, you will be able to read the other students’ posts. Reply to at least three other students to earn full credit for the assignment. Replies should be 30 – 50 words. Also, don’t forget to include the Honor Code (See Ground Rule #4 in the syllabus) at the end of “New Posts.” Be sure to separate it from the post itself. Keep in mind that this is a short essay assignment, not a paragraph assignment.
- In-text Citations: If you use a quotation from the literature in your mini-essay, please place an in-text citation (also called a parenthetical citation) immediatly after you close the quotation marks and before you place a period for your sentence. That way, anyone in the class (including me!) can easily find the quotation in the literature if necessary. If you’re not sure what to place inside the parentheses, there is some instruction in the handouts for Essays #1 and #2. And, you can always message me for help. Do not use outside sources for this course. Write about your own ideas and focus you support tightly on the literature itself.
- Grading: The number of posts and replies you need to get credit are shown in the Grading table below. Keep in mind that the grades in the chart assume that your “new thread” (mini-essay) and “replies” satisify the length criteria in #2 above. Also, because these mini-essays are Gordon Rule assignments, the grade could go up or down depending on the quality of your writing.