113 A Calendar (Summer, 2019)

113A Calendar Summer 2019

Week 1

June 10, Monday:  Introduction of class members and syllabus/course.

Read Top Six Digital Transformation Trends In Media And Entertainment (Online) from Forbes Magazine.

Watch these Ted Talks:


  1. Watch these videos again and write a 300-words response to it. Post your response to Canvas by Monday Midnight.
  2. Read and write a precise summary (500 Words) of Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google making Us Stupid? Post Summary to Canvas by midnight Monday, June 10.

June 11, Tuesday:

  • Discussion of some student responses.
  • Class discussion on ““Is Google making Us Stupid?”
  • Discussion Questions:

1. How would you answer the title question – is Google (or the internet generally) making us stupid? How is the author defining stupidity and intelligence? Do you agree with Carr’s definition or would you define it differently?

2. Can you connect this to your attachments to technology, and if so, how? What does the internet make you better at? Is there anything you feel it makes you do worse?

3. Why does Carr begin and end his essay with the science-fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey?  How does this film become a kind of metaphor for the ideas in his essay? 

4. What does Carr mean when he writes, “as we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”…we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies” (637)?  How have our ways of thinking, and indeed, even our metaphors, changed as a result of these technologies?  Consider also how previous technologies have changed our thinking, according to the essay. 

5. What is it that Carr is really worried about?  Is he “just a worrywart”?

6. What is Carr’s thesis?

7. Who is Carr talking about (and who is his audience)?

8. Do you agree with Carr’s argument? Why?

9. In what points do you disagree with Carr? Why?


  1. Write a letter to the author, Nicholas Carr, responding to his position on technological advancements. Post your letter to Canvas  by Wednesday Midnight, June 12.
  2. Read and write a precise summary (500 Words due by Wednesday, June 12) of Clive Thompson’s “Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better” (PDF in Canvas).

June 13, Thursday: Group discussion on the article: “Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better”. Each group will take up an issue from the reading and present in the class.

In-class writing: Compare and Contrast Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” Clive Thompson’s “Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better,” and Two Ted Talks: Do all of three make the same argument? Where do they agree and disagree? Is there any difference in the point of view or tone or argument/s? If they agree, why do you think they do, and if not, why not?

Next, we will generate a list of potential research topics in the class.

Some potential Essay Topics:

Education and Digital Media

Google and Attention Span

Upsides and downsides of Unlimited data storage

Increasing military technology and world peace

Nanobot drones and future of warfare

Fashion and Digital Media

Copyright and Digital Media

Race, Gender, and Digital Media

Digital Media and Advocacy

Privacy and Surveillance

Finally, we will return to the assignment sheet and review the expectations for the essay


Write a letter to a friend this time describing your response to Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Post your letter to Canvas by Saturday Midnight, June 15.

Read and write a precise summary (500 Words due by Sunday, June 16) of Kevin Kelly’s “Better than Human: Why Robots will—and Must—Take our Jobs

Access library databases and locate one or two secondary (pref. scholarly) source/s for your unit 1 essay.

Week 2

June 17, Monday:

Group Discussion on Kevin Kelly’s “Better than Human: Why Robots will—and Must—Take our Jobs”

Discussion Questions on the Reading:

1. Kevin Kelly argues that machines will eventually take over many of the jobs that we now perform. This scenario may seem dire, yet he doesn’t appear at all worried. To the contrary, in fact. Why not? Find statements in the article that explain his attitude.

2. Though he acknowledges that some of his ideas are “hard to believe,” Kelly does not begin by saying explicitly what other ideas or assumptions he’s responding to. How does he begin, and how does that beginning set the stage for his argument?

3. Nicholas Carr is less optimistic than Kelly about the future impact of technology. Who do you find more persuasive, and why?

4. How do you respond to human relationship with robots, summed up into four categories in a chart in the article? Do you agree or disagree to his categories and why?

5. How do you respond to Kelly’s “Seven Stages of Robot Replacement”? Can you think of any real life examples where some jobs went through those stages? Explain.

Watch this Ted Talks and Discuss it: Don’t Fear Intelligent Machines Work With Them 

Workshop on finding, contextualizing and evaluating sources for Progression 1 essay: We will take a quick tour through the library databases to see which ones might best serve our unit inquiry.


  1. Start drafting the essay—at least three paragraphs—for the beginning, middle or end of the essay. While doing that keep in mind that your writing goal in this progression involves deeply engaging with the arguments of the shared texts, and developing a position(s) of your own.

June 18, Tuesday:

  1. 1 min idea sharing on your essay topics
  2. Analyzing the beginning and conclusion of two sample essays (download from Canvas)


Read chapter 22 “Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing” (pp. 512-526) from Everyone’s An Author.

Now by using three shared texts and at least one secondary source, compose the first draft for Progression 1 essay. Make sure you keep in mind techniques of “quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing” as you compose the essay.

June 20, Thursday:

Synthesis Heuristic/ Thesis Building Heuristic—(Handouts)

Peer Review

Homework: Further build your paper. Final Draft is due on Monday, June 24.

Week 3

June 24, Monday

Review Essay is due on Canvas.

  1. Distribution of Rhetorical Analysis assignment
  2. Watch documentary—Miss Representation, 2011

Write a quick response to the movie, and discuss some responses.


  1. Read and write a precise summary (In 500 Words) of chapter Thirteen ““Let’s Take a Closer Look” Writing Analytically” (pp. 201-220 from Everyone’s An Author)Post Summary to Canvas by Tuesday, June 25.
  2. Get online and locate a media artifact for critical and rhetorical analysis. Read the assignment description carefully and look for the appropriate media artifact (music video, movie/animation clip, video advertisement etc.).

June 25 Tuesday

In the Class:

  1. Generating key critical/rhetorical concepts together from ““Let’s Take a Closer Look” Writing Analytically”” (pp. 201-220).
  2. Initial analysis of your media artifact–Critically examining your media artifact: What do you see in your artifact? What signs, symbols? What values or ideologies are being communicated? Whose values or ideologies are those? Who is communicating those values or ideologies? Who is benefitting and who is losing? Does your artifact echo any aspect/s of Miss Representation? How?


1. Write a one and half page description of your media artifact. Try to be specific, accurate, and attempt to re-create the artifact as closely as possible in and through words. Post the Description to Canvas by Wednesday June 26

2. Read and summarize in 300-500 words, “Writing Analytically/A Roadmap” (pp. 231-239 from Everyone’s An Author. Post summary to Canvas by Wednesday, June 26.

3. Bring your laptops and your media artifact to the class.

June 27, Thursday:

1.Discussion of Rhetorical terms. Rhetorical angle at the artifact.


1. Read and summarize (in 300- 500 words) chapter Seventeen: “Analyzing and Constructing Arguments” (pp. 379-418) from Everyone’s An Author) (Summary due by Saturday, June 29).

2. Read and summarize in 300-500 words Sika A. Dagbovie-Mullins’ “Pigtails, Ponytails, and Getting Tail: The Infantilization and Hyper-Sexualization of African American Females in Popular Culture” (PDf in Moodle). Post Summary to Canvas by Sunday, June 30).

Week 4

July 1, Monday:

We will discuss the key concepts related to analyzing arguments.

We will also analyze Dagbovie-Mullins’ “Pigtails, Ponytails, and Getting Tail: The Infantilization and Hyper-Sexualization of African American Females in Popular Culture” article.

Then, we will review some sample analysis essays (PDFs in Canvas)

Homework: Read and summarize in 300-500 words Asa Berger’s “Semiotic Analysis” (PDf in Canvas). Post Summary to Canvas by Tuesday, July 2).

July 2, Tuesday:

In class:  We will examine advertiser’s key promotion strategies. Also discuss rhetorical and sexual appeals routinely used by advertisers and popular media.

You will work on pairs. You will also look at each other’s media artifact and share your critical observations


  1. Read and summarize (in  300-500 words) Asa Berger’s Chapter” Discourse Analysis” (PDF in Canvas). Post the summary to Canvas by Wednesday, July, 3).

July 4, Thursday: 

No Class (Independence Day)

Homework: Keep working on your analysis.

Week 5

July 8, Monday: 

In Class: 1. Group discussion on central ideas in Asa Berger’s Chapter” Discourse Analysis

  • Organization, Transitions, Synthesis Heuristics, thesis heuristics

July 9, Tuesday:

No Class:

Identify a space or activity, where the idea, process or instance that you are discussing in your essay is manifest. Take copious notes of what you see there. Describe in detail what you saw, where you saw it, how it is related to what you are analyzing in your essay, and in what way is that related to your topic and analysis. (Description Due to Canvas by Thursday July. 11th.)

Homework: Finalize Rhetorical Analysis. Bring the full draft for peer review on Thursday

July 11, Thursday: Peer review

Homework: Revise your draft based on peer review feedback and send me and your peer review group the updated draft by Friday, Midnight, July 12.

Week 6

July 15, Monday:

Small Group Conference with Santosh in his office Sierra Tower 834

Come together as a group on your chosen time slot to Sierra Tower 834


  1. Read and post 300-500 words summary of Paul Krugman’s “Confronting Inequality. Post due in Canvas by Tuesday, July 16.

July 16, Tuesday:

Unit 3 begins–

Screening of a video clips related to American Dream:

Review the assignment sheet for argument essay.

Discuss Paul Krugman’s “Confronting Inequality.”

Rhetorical Reading of Paul Krugman (Group Activity)

Analysis of some argument essays (PDF in Canvas)

Homework: Read and summarize in 300-500 words Tim Roemer’s “America Remains the World’s Beacon of Success”; Shayan Zadeh’s “Bring on More Immigrant Entrepreneurs”; and Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy’s “The Upside of Income Inequality. Look for instances of claims being made and supported—analytical claims, argumentative claims, explanatory claims. Canvas Posts due by Wednesday, July 17).

Rhetorical Analysis Final Essay Due to Canvas Midnight Wednesday, July 17th.

July 18, Thursday: We will unpack issues associated with American Dream based on those readings.


Read and Summarize in 300-500 words Brandon King’s “The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold” (PDF in Canvas). Post the summary to Canvas by Monday, July 22.

Everyone please start exploring your essay topic or research question/s. Remember your essay topic or research question/s should or could be on any issues, questions, debates or controversies associated with American Dream. Try to look for something you are interested in and want to research further. Be ready to share your tentative topic/research questions to the class on Wednesday.

Week 7

July 22, Monday:

We will unpack Brandon King’s article.

Your research: What did you find as the associated issues of “American Dream”?

We will look at criteria for evaluating print and online sources.

We will discuss the components of research proposal (I will have handouts for you).


1. Please write a 250-word research essay proposal. (Proposal Due by July 23).

2. Read and Summarize in 300-500 words chapter 11: “This is Where I Stand: Arguing a Position” (pp. 116-145) from Everyone’s An Author. Post Summary to Canvas by Monday, July 22.

July 23, Tuesday

  1. We will share our research proposals in the class: claim/ thesis, sources, research methods etc.
  2. We will look at various elements of argument.
  3. We will also do narrowing the focus exercise.
  4. Evaluation criteria distributed and explained


  1. Prepare the first draft (4+pages) of the essay

July 25, Thursday

  • Thesis Building Heuristic
  • Small Group Peer Feedback on thesis and structure.

Homework: Complete the Draft and upload a copy in Canvas under “First Draft of Argument Essay” for my feedback by Friday July 26.

Week 8

July 29, Monday

Small Group Conference with me in my office Sierra Tower 834.

HomeworkRevise your draft based on my feedback.

July 30, Tuesday

Portfolio Workshop.

August 1, Thursday

Finalize your essay. Put together your entire portfolio. Course Evals.

Your Portfolio is due in Canvas on Monday, August 5.

Your final portfolio should contain electronic copies of your three polished essays (Review Essay final draft, Rhetorical Analysis Essay final draft, and Argument Essay final draft) and a 2 double-spaced reflection on the entire semester–what you learned and how, what readings stood out, and what assignments and writing and research activities benefitted you the most. Upload those pieces in Canvas.