Week 5

Tuesday, September 27
Bring to class a rough draft of your paper. We will be doing peer review. It would help if you could bring 2 copies of your paper.

If during your research you run across articles you want us all to read or clips on youtube, put them on twitter with #nifkin

More about the formal paper:

Writing Center: We have a writing center on campus. It's in the basement of Moon Library. You can bring a draft of your paper there and ask a writing consultant for one-on-one help with your writing. This service is free -- so take advantage of it. Go here for more info or to make an appointment.

Documentation: Yes, you need to use in-text citations, plus a Works Cited page at the end so that we know where you got your information from. I encourage you to use APA because that's what is used most often on this campus. (Likely you used MLA in high school.) You can find APA guidelines on  the Purdue Online Writing Lab: you can begin here and here.

Who am I writing for? Your short papers have been written for the rest of the class. You can think of people like us as your audience for the formal paper, but pretend that you haven't ever met us. Therefore, you will need to be a little more formal than you are in the short papers. If you bring up something we read in class, you can't assume that your readers have read it. You also can't assume that all of your readers are taking biology and chemistry and care about environmental issues -- you have to explain scientific terms if you use them and make us care about the issues.

Thursday, September 29
Come to class with another draft of your paper. You can bring it on paper or on your laptop. We will use part of the class to read each other's papers and make micro-editing suggestions.

The final draft is due by 5 pm on Saturday, September 31. (Moon Library closes at 6 pm so you need to get into the library before then.) Put your folder in the box outside my office in 105 Moon Library. If you are satisfied with the copy you bring to class on Thursday, you can hand it in then. If the door to 105 Moon is closed, just push it open and turn on the light to find the box. Be sure the box has my name on it.

Your folder should contain:
-- six short papers
-- your formal paper (and rough drafts if you'd like to include them)
-- one paragraph about your class participation

During the first week of October, we will have no class. You will be working on an online assignment and you will each have a 15-minute appointment with me. You can make an appointment here.

Week 4

First, be sure that you've gone on twitter and searched #nifkin to see if anyone has posted anything interesting. By now, you should have an account (with a photo and not just the generic egg photo), you should know how to reply to someone, how to search a hashtag, how to favorite something, and how to retweet something. If you need help with any of these things, bring your laptop to class and I can help you during the early part of class while everyone is reading papers. Asking for help is a smart way to learn. Also, if you want to see the archive of our intros, go here.

I think Ublend has an app for the android now. So be sure to check it out. The secret code for our class is nntnti

Here are the assignments for the week:

Tuesday, September 20
Read "These Green Things: the San Francisco Garden Project" by Catherine Sneed on page 244. You can check out their webpage too.
Read "Forget Shorter Showers" by Derrick Jensen.

Write Short Paper #6

In class we will brainstorm ideas for your first formal paper.

Thursday, September 22
Bring to class the elevator pitch for your formal paper.

The rough draft of the paper will be due on Tuesday, September 27, and you will be handing in the final draft in your portfolio on Thursday, September 29.

I would recommend using APA for your citations. You can use the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) as a guide.

Week 3

For Tuesday, September 13
Read "Got Tape?" by BK Loren, p 43.
Read "A License to Be Human: An Interview with Van Jones" p 53.
Write Short paper #4

Wednesday Twitter Madness:
Before midnight on Wednesday, go on twitter and introduce yourself to the world. Your tweet should contain a photo or a link to something plus some info about yourself. You need to use #nifkin so we can all find you. Once you've introduced yourself, search #nifkin so that you can see everyone else's tweets. Use the "favorite" function to favorite tweets that you like and use the "reply" function to say something to anyone who has a particularly interesting tweet.

NOTE: Your account can't be private -- or else we won't see it.

For Thursday, September 15
Read "Conservation Refugee" by Mark Dowie, p 65
Write Short paper #5

If you have time, check out 350.org

Yes, Eustace B. Nifkin has a facebook page. You can friend Nifkin here.

About grades: Several people have asked whether or not the short papers count towards your grade. The answer is yes, of course they do. At the end of this unit, you will be handing in your manilla folder. That folder will contain six short papers, your first formal paper, and a reflective statement in which you write about your participation in the class (which includes things like twitter). I will read through the portfolio. Then you will have a 15-minute conference with me to talk it over, and you will get a grade that's based on everything you've done. That will be your Unit One grade.

Update for Ublend: The two British guys say that the app for Android should be out next week. In the meantime, you can access it from your laptops.

ESF's literary magazine 
ESF has a literary magazine, and they're looking for submissions of poetry, prose, artwork, and photography. Check them out here: Unearthed.

Week 2

For Tuesday, September 6

Read "Reinhabiting Environmentalism" by Peter Sauer on page 5 of the anthology The Future of Nature. Then write Short Paper #2 -- a response to that essay. (For those of you who don't have your book yet, I did put two copies of it on reserve in Moon Library.) You should think of the short papers as a way of adding to the conversation we'll be having about the reading. Click here for more about short papers.

Read "Freewriting" by Peter Elbow.

If you don't have a twitter account, go to twitter.com and create one. You need to put at least your first name on the account so that we know who you are. Click here for more about twitter.

Some accounts to follow once you are on twitter:
Janine DeBaise @writingasjoe   (me)
Eustace B. Nifkin @follownifkin  (ESF's unofficial, legendary student)

If you want to bring laptops on Tuesday we can spend the last ten minutes of class experimenting with twitter — and trading twitter handles so that we can follow each other.

Note: If you are using your twitter account for class, it can't be a protected account.

For Thursday, September 8

Read "Beyond Hope" by Derrick Jensen, page 27.
Read "The Union Makes Them Strong" by Laura Paskus, page 32.
You can respond to either essay or both -- but be sure to read them both.
Write Short Paper #3

By now you should have signed into Ublend (the secret code for our class is nntnti) and you should have a twitter account.

Also, go look at this comic from XKCD.

And if you don't know who Eustace B. Nifkin is, check out this blog post and this one.

Week 1

Thursday, September 1
Short Paper #1 is due.

Choose something that could be a symbol of your home community. Write a short essay (probably 400-500 words) in which you describe the symbol and explain how it represents your home community.

Your audience for this first paper are the other 20 people in the classroom. To cater to that audience, you will want to include interesting and specific details.

Most students can fit a "short paper" onto a single piece of paper by single-spacing between lines but double-spacing between paragraphs. Yes, you do need to type short papers.

I will warn you that I will be asking you to read this first short paper aloud.

You will also want to make sure you've bought the book The Future of Nature. In addition, click the link on the sidebar that says First Week Readings and check those links out. In fact, you should scroll through this blog and read everything. Then ask me if you have any questions.


EWP 190 is a college composition course will help you make the transition from the kinds of writing you did in high school to the kinds of writing expected of you in college and beyond. Writing is linked to reading and critical thinking so those are skills that will be emphasized as well.

In this course, you will be expected to give your peers feedback on their writing and do some collaborative projects. You will sometimes be required to read your writing aloud. The curriculum includes an oral presentation.

As the name of the course suggests, our topic of inquiry will be environmental issues. Over the semester, we’ll be reading a range of essays that explore environmental issues from both a scientific and cultural perspective. We’ll be writing about our connection to nature and our connection to place.

Your reading and writing assignments will posted on this website so be sure to bookmark it.


The Future of Nature
Writing on a Human Ecology from Orion Magazine
Selected and Introduced by Barry Lopez
Milkweed Editions, 2007

You will need this book right away. It should be available at the Syracuse University bookstore in Schine or you can order it through the ESF bookstore in Gateway. You can also order the book online, but do it quickly so that you will get it soon.

On your computer,  bookmark the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab). We will be using that as a writing handbook.