Course Blog

Reminders for Dec. 10 and 12

posted Dec 9, 2012, 5:46 PM by R.B. Moreno

  • Our final periods take place Monday, Dec. 10, and Wednesday, Dec. 12, in our regular classrooms. Please check for times for your section's period (posted earlier) and review resources related to your presentation, otherwise known as the reflexive analysis (also posted earlier). As discussed in class, presentations should last about 5 minutes, and no more than 7, which allows for questions from your audience. Ahead of your final period, please upload Inquiry/Essay rough drafts, visual rhetoric, slideshows, or any other supplements to your presentation to the following D2L "Dropbox" folder: "XC Analysis and Presentation."
  • Feedback on Inquiry/Essay rough drafts, including those submitted late or without a hard copy, is now available in D2L: Dropbox. For further guidance in preparing your final draft and visual rhetoric, due by Friday, Dec. 14, via hard copy and the "Final Draft and Visual Rhetoric" folder, please see your instructor on Monday, 6-8 p.m. at a table in the Academic Commons. To turn in your final portfolio outside of class, please visit Dakota 222.
  • Have a safe and happy holiday break! Congratulations on completing ENGL 201, and finding answers to our course's guiding question: "How should we feed ourselves?"

Reminders for Dec. 7 + Video Posted

posted Dec 6, 2012, 4:16 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Dec 9, 2012, 5:23 PM ]

  • As discussed in class, our Inquiry/Essay due date has moved to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Plan on delivering your presentation (reflexive analysis) during your section's final period (posted earlier). Per our new deadline, however, you may submit the Inquiry/Essay portfolio described in our assignment handout to the "Final Draft and Visual Rhetoric" folder under "Dropbox" in D2L at any time during finals week. Please bring the same in hard copy form to class or Dakota 222.
  • If you've not already done so, please deliver comments to your Inquiry/Essay peer response group via USD Google Docs by tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 7. There's guidance on offering feedback in a workshop handout at our assignment post. Feedback from your instructor on your own rough draft is currently available in D2L: Dropbox or will be posted by Saturday morning. Confused about how to revise the narrative that organizes your essay? Recall the following tips from Ira Glass on storytelling, especially the power of the anecdote, which can be just as helpful to food writing as it can in other narrative genres such as radio.

  • Discussion of the Inquiry/Essay visual rhetoric and related resources in this blog's sidebar will also continue on Friday, in UMT 101, where we meet for a last workshop. Plan on time in class to work on your visual, deliver comments to Google Docs, contribute to our Inquiry/Essay surveys (posted earlier), or prepare a slideshow for your reflexive analysis (see last year's FAQ page). Rather than e-mailing Raul, please upload any materials for your presentation to the following D2L "Dropbox" folder: "XC Analysis and Presentation."

Office Hours Update

posted Dec 5, 2012, 2:03 PM by R.B. Moreno

Today's office hours will take place in Academic Commons, the study hall between the Muenster University Center and the I.D. Weeks Library. For more orientation, see the university's campus map.

Reminders for Dec. 3 and 5 + Reading Posted

posted Dec 1, 2012, 8:51 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Dec 5, 2012, 9:15 PM ]

  • As previewed in class, rough drafts (1,500 words) of the Inquiry/Essay project are due Monday, Dec. 3, via hard copy and a Dropbox folder in D2L. To submit your USD Google Docs workshop draft to D2L, download your latest changes as a Word document by selecting "File" → Download as" → "Microsoft Word." As described in an email regarding the workshop, comments on your group members' drafts are due Wednesday, Dec. 5. There's more guidance on contributing to the workshop in a handout at our Inquiry/Essay assignment post.
  • On Monday we'll finish our discussion of Tracie McMillan's The American Way of Eating by looking at excerpts 2-3 (see our File Cabinet) and considering ways in which we might comment on these essays as fellow food writers (criticisms, opportunities for revision, et cetera). We'll also conclude our screening of King Corn and compare the filmmakers' approaches to their subject to McMillan's field research.
  • On Wednesday we'll hold discussions in peer response groups about the progress of our Inquiry/Essay drafts. To contribute to your group's discussion, it will be helpful to have access to Google Docs (via laptop or tablet) or a printout of your group members' drafts, along with any comments posted. As a "best example" by a student of the Inquiry/Essay project, you might also review Aaron Holsag's "Coming Home" (posted earlier).
  • On Wednesday and Friday, we'll shift our attention to the Inquiry/Essay project's visual rhetoric and presentation (reflexive analysis). Supplemental reading that may be of help: Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz's chapter 14, especially "Using Visuals in Your Own Argument" (p. 451-463).

Reminders for Nov. 30 + Final Periods Posted

posted Nov 29, 2012, 12:57 PM by R.B. Moreno

  • On Friday, in UMT 101, you'll join a peer response group for purposes of revising and expanding your Inquiry/Essay project's rough draft. Please bring to class a draft described earlier, in electronic form (Word or USD Google Docs), but wait to share this draft until we talk about this workshop's next steps.
  • On Friday and Monday we'll also be discussing Anne Lamott's "Shitty First Drafts" (also posted earlier; see our File Cabinet).
  • Please visit our Inquiry/Essay project surveys and contribute responses. If you've posted a survey online, remember to monitor its progress by logging into and incorporate data collected there into your essay's narrative, as appropriate.
    • In addition to our own surveys, and given our course's engagement with new technology, USD's Center for Teaching and Learning has asked our class for assistance in assessing our state's "mobile computing initiative," a program to encourage faculty to use more technology in their classrooms. If you're able, please complete the following survey:
  • Our final periods for the week of Dec. 10 can be found posted below in a schedule from the USD Office of the Registrar. Note that our final periods take place on Monday, Dec. 10, and Wednesday, Dec. 12. Please attend the period assigned to your section of ENGL 201 or see Raul after class to make other arrangements. During the upcoming week we'll discuss expectations for final period presentations.

Office Hours Update

posted Nov 28, 2012, 1:05 PM by R.B. Moreno

Today's office hours will take place in Academic Commons, the study hall between the Muenster University Center and the I.D. Weeks Library. For more orientation, see the university's campus map.

Inquiry/Essay Surveys Posted

posted Nov 25, 2012, 6:33 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Dec 3, 2012, 5:23 PM ]

Please visit the following links to short questionnaires that support Inquiry/Essay field research in ENGL 201.

Gluten Free Survey

Caffeine Consumption


Dairy Desserts: Frozen Yogurt vs. Traditional Ice Cream

Obesity and Fast Food

Commons Food

Protein and Iron

School Lunches Survey

Food Labels and Obesity

Fast Food vs. Home Cooked Meals and Obesity Rates

Farmers Markets

What to Put on Your Plate

After completing each survey, return to this post and click the Google "plus one" button below to indicate your participation. Additional surveys will be added to this post's list over the coming days.

Reminders for Nov. 26 and 28 + Reading Posted

posted Nov 20, 2012, 12:10 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Dec 5, 2012, 9:14 PM ]

  • Welcome to Thanksgiving week. As previewed on Friday, we won't be holding any class sessions this week due to last week's conferences and the university holidays. Please enjoy the break and take the opportunity, as you're able, to conduct field research in support of your Inquiry/Essay project. Unless they're urgent, please save questions for Raul about your research until after the break, as he is traveling without regular access to e-mail.
  • Our discussion of Tracie McMillan's The American Way of Eating will continue on Monday with a look at how the writer's field and background or library research supports her "essaying" in two excerpts: "I Got Hired To Do the Hardest Job at Applebee’s" and "A Brief History of Applebee’s—and Why It’s Still Going Strong" (see our File Cabinet). Please bring both excerpts to class and take note, as you read, of how the kinds of evidence discussed in Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz’s chapter 16 appear (or don't appear) in McMillan's "showing" as well as "telling." In that context, which moments in her writing do you find most effective?
  • On Monday we'll also reserve time to "debrief" any field research we've conducted by sharing its progress, asking questions, and hearing suggestions for further research from your classmates and instructor. This discussion will continue on Wednesday, when our only other activity will be course evaluations.
  • As previewed during our conferences, please prepare a partial Inquiry/Essay rough draft for electronic peer review on Friday, Nov. 30, in UMT 101. This draft should consist of 2-3 pages: a working title, a series of introductory paragraphs, and an outline showing your reader how you plan to further develop the essay. You'll find some good tips on approaching this process in Lynn Quitman Troyka and Douglas Hesse's "Planning and Shaping Writing." On Friday and the following week we'll also discuss a last short reading, which comes from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott: "Shitty First Drafts" (see our File Cabinet).
  • Update: The online data gathering resource discussed during last week's computer lab is available at To build a survey in support of your Inquiry/Essay field research and gather responses from ENGL 201 students, first "Sign In with Google" using the Gmail address you use to access our File Cabinet. Then follow SurveyMonkey's "Tips for Writing a Great Survey" as well as related guidance in Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz’s chapter 16, with the aim of creating a questionnaire consisting of no more than a dozen prompts or questions. Finally, e-mail Raul "Your Survey Web Link"—that's the URL address associated with your survey and visible after clicking "Send Survey" within SurveyMonkey's basic account tools—by Tuesday, Nov. 27. As described in our assignment handout, surveys are just one of several kinds of field research that can inform your Inquiry/Essay project.

Reminders for Nov. 14 and 16 + Reading Posted

posted Nov 11, 2012, 1:15 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Dec 5, 2012, 9:14 PM ]

  • As Monday, Nov. 12, is a university holiday, we will not be holding class. Please remember to honor American veterans in some way, perhaps by reading one of their stories at There's another essay from a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict at our Inquiry/Essay assignment post. We'll discuss that essay following Thanksgiving break.
  • As our Inquiry/Essay conferences schedule stretches over three days, we will not be holding class on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Monday, Nov. 19. Please double check your time, upload your proposal to "Proposal: Final Draft" under "Dropbox" in D2L, bring two copies of the same to the MUC, and look for Raul at a table in the Academic Commons (or "link") study hall.
  • In preparation for our last round of team trivia on Friday, Nov. 16, in UMT 101, keep an eye on food-related news and local events by using the above schedule's accompanying list of resources. We'll also discuss the first of three excerpts from Tracie McMillan's The American Way of Eating (posted earlier).
  • Over the weekend, evaluations and feedback related to the Group Inquiry assignment is being posted to D2L: Dropbox: Group Inquiry. We'll debrief that project's challenges and accomplishments on Friday; please bring any questions to Raul during your conference.

Reminders for Nov. 9 + Video Posted

posted Nov 7, 2012, 9:01 PM by R.B. Moreno   [ updated Nov 8, 2012, 11:11 AM ]

  • On Friday, in UMT 101, our Inquiry/Essay orientation will continue with another round of team trivia that focuses on (1) our assignment handout (distributed in class); and (2) food-related news and other opportunities for local inquiry. For a full list of regional newspapers, calendars, and similar resources, see our Inquiry/Essay proposal assignment and conferences schedule. If you don't see your name listed under that post's schedule, please e-mail Raul with a time preference.
  • Contact and membership information for the Red Earth Coop, the topic of Wednesday's guest presentation from Holly Richard, can be found at
  • Thursday, Nov. 8, is the last day for USD students to drop (or be dropped from) classes with a "W" grade. If you have any related questions, please see Raul during office hours or by appointment.
  • Our "Preliminary Research" forum under "Discuss" in D2L may be of help as you consider possible topics for your Inquiry/Essay proposal. The forum will remain open to new posts until Friday. We'll reserve part of our time in Friday's lab for proposal research. We'll also begin to discuss field research in Tracie McMillan's The American Way of Eating (posted earlier). The following April 2012 lecture by McMillan at Boston University will help inform this discussion.

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