Thursday, December 13, 2007

Inclement Weather

Criminy! The weather doesn't look too good, guys. That last portfolio pickup may not be in the cards, either.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 O'Clock Section Portfolios

A message for the 4 o'clockers--since not every last portfolio has been graded, I won't be doing portfolio pickup during the final exam time. However, check your email to find out whether your portfolio has been graded. If it has, you can pick it up during office hours Thursday 2-3:30 in my office.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

No Portfolio Pickup Yet

Dear 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock sections--we won't be holding portfolio pickup today (Tuesday) during our final exam time or office hours today. Stay tuned and I'll be posting grades on Blackboard (most of 12 o'clock's over the course of the day, and I'll keep you posted about the 6 o'clocks).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Important Announcement for 12 o'clock section

Due to a scheduling conflict (combined with the logistics of carrying 22 portfolios around) I need to slightly adjust the place and time of our final "exam" portfolio pickup for the 12 o'clock class. If you'd like to get your final essay and and portfolio, please come to my office between 2 pm and 3:30 tomorrow, Tuesday.
If this conflicts with another exam you have, let me know and we'll make an appointment for you to pick it up at a more convenient time.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #61

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #61

Letter to New Students

Letter To Next Semester’s ClassIn A Blog of One’s Own we spent a maximum of forty minutes on each blog assignment. The main focus of the assignments is the reading aspects. You need to do them or else you won’t comprehend the in-class discussions as well as gaining a better understanding of the topics. It is crucial that you do the reading because you can then help answer questions in class as well as be able to continue on with the assignments. Often times, you might feel stressed because of the workload. For example, the number of books you have to read at once. This becomes difficult when trying to manage your time, and make sure that you complete the homework as well as worrying about homework for your other classes.The instructor expected a lot from the class. We would start class right on time and we were never let out early. This was so that she could give us all the needed material as well as making sure we went over the reading. Her expectations were high but reasonable. This is a writing class. There is going to be a lot of reading and writing. However, she would go over each reading assignment, and answer any questions you might have. This is why participating in class was very important to her. She would often encourage the class to get involved and would praise group discussions. This class was very affective and useful. It teaches you a lot about your self worth and about pushing yourself to the limit.

Letter to Future Students from Alpha Pod

Dear Future Students for a Blog of One’s Own,

If I knew then what I know now, I would have started my semester long research paper earlier. I would have continuously worked on the paper instead of only when parts of it were due. Basically, in this class it is extremely important not to procrastinate and do as much of the final paper as you can whenever you have free time so that in the end you are not rushing to get it finished. I would have put more efforts into writing the blogs which would have also improved the writing for the final paper.
In this class the students should expect to spend at least and hour on each homework assignment to do it efficiently and receive a good grade. They should estimate about forty-five minutes to read the chapter and abut fifteen minutes to write the blog. It was not very hard to balance this class’s work with other classes until it came close to the end of the semester. The final paper started to clash with other final projects that were due. Best of Luck!

The Alpha Pod
Beta Pod
(Kelly, Hayley, Emily, Lori, Sarah)
December 6th 2007

To next semester ITW 101 students,

Reading and Writing advice that you should know is, that you have to keep up with reading or else you don’t know what’s going on in the class. If you keep up with the work, you should be fine in class. After being handed your first writing assignment, you need to understand what you’re going to be writing about before writing it. You need to print out all your blogs, otherwise you’ll be printing 42 blogs at the end of the semester. That’s a lot of paper! Haha!
During this course we learned that every minute is used preciously. There will never be a wasted minute. Through out the course, you learn a lot about the media, and the Internet, and how it is used in our society. We wish you the best of luck! Keep up with your work, and stay organized!

Peace out bloggahs,

Beta Pod <3

A Blog of One's Own #60

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #60

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #56

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #56

Tuesday, 12/4

Today we listened to some very useful presentations by tutors from the Writing Center on editing final drafts, then spent about half an hour proofreading and editing drafts, and finally listened to podcasts.
I announced one change in the requirements for the semester-long project--I will accept 12 point font as well as 11 for the semester-long project. (You can thank the 12 o'clock section for talking me into this.)
The semester-long project and portfolio are due Thursday, 12/6. Please include a completed portfolio checklist, and refer to it to make sure you have everything you need for 12/6.
I talked a little bit about scores on Blackboard; I'm grading the blog posts in reverse order, and hope to complete scoring the posts later this week.
The podcasts students have been completing continue to be just terrific--the third podcasts especially have said eloquently exactly what I hoped students could get out of reading Baghdad Burning.
There were no new handouts today, but three important ones if you don't already have them are: Portfolio Checklist, HW 38-42, and the TW Submission instructions.

A Blog of One's Own #55

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #55

A Blog of One's Own #54

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #54

A Blog of One's Own #53

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #53

A Blog of One's Own #52

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #52

A Blog of One's Own #51

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #51

A Blog of One's Own #50

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #50

A Blog of One's Own #49

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #49

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #45

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #45

A Blog of One's Own #44

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #44

A Blog of One's Own #43

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #43

A Blog of One's Own #42

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #42

A Blog of One's Own #41

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #41

A Blog of One's Own #40

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #40

A Blog of One's Own #39

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #39

A Blog of One's Own #38

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #38

A Blog of One's Own #37

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #37

A Blog of One's Own #36

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #36

Thursday, 11/29

I have been so proud and impressed of the podcasts students have been completing! If you haven't already heard some, take a listen, either to the ones on this blog or on your podmates' and classmates' blogs.
Today is your final peer review. Bring a copy of your semester-long project to work on.
Handouts for today are the Portfolio Checklist, HW 38-42, and the TW Submission instructions.
Next Tuesday, remember to bring your drafts again for a workshop on proofreading and editing with our illustrious Center for Writing tutors.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #27

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #27

Paper Help

Hi everyone: I just got an announcement about a service learning project by the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta which supplements the help offered by the Center for Writing.

Members of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, are at your service!

Where: Student Center Room 308

When: 8:00-11:00 pm every night,

December 5th through December 12th

4:00-11:00 pm on Reading Day, December 10th

Please stop by for our FREE walk-in service during these hours! All of our members are junior-and-senior English majors. We will proofread, edit, and improve any work of writing for a course final or project.

If you work with them, please feel free to leave a comment on this post if you recommend the service for other ITW 101 students.

A Blog of One's Own #26

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #26

A Blog of One's Own #25

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #25

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #24

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #24

What's Due Tuesday 11/27

Just a reminder that the second podcast, HW 37, is due Thursday, 11/29. You can get a printed copy of it from outside my office (Parker 003) or download it from my academic website at
On Tuesday 11/27 (tomorrow) we're having individual conferences instead of a regular class meeting. Showing up at your appointment counts as two days' attendance. (A missed appointment counts as two days' absence, and last-minute emails asking to change will not prevent my counting it as an absence if you don't show up, although I do appreciate the courtesy of letting me know if that time will not be used.)

Peak Hours at the Center for Writing

Hi everyone: most of you have already scheduled and attended your required visit to the Center for Writing for the course since the deadline for scheduling was earlier this month. If you haven't though, you might find the info in the Center for Writing blog post below helpful.
From pre-Thanksgiving through finals week is a very busy time at the Center for Writing when students from all over campus seek help with final projects or remember that they have a required visit due before semester’s end. And we want to help out everyone we can!

Our tutors are working extra hours right now to meet with each person who makes an appointment well in advance of a due date, but we are unfortunately not likely to be able to take walk-in sessions during these weeks of peak demand.

To ensure that you get an appointment for a tutoring session before the end of this semester, plan ahead. Booking even a week in advance right now is not too early.

The best way is to stop by the Center during open hours.
Second best is to call the front desk, 358-2412, especially during our hours.
Sorry, but we cannot make appointments by email.
Don’t give up! Sometimes we have cancellations or a tutor volunteers to open a new shift, so it’s worth checking back on another day even if there weren’t openings the last time you asked.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #23

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #23

A Blog of One's Own #22

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #22

A Blog of One's Own #21 - Kim's First Podcast

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #21 - Kim's First Podcast

HW 37 and 11/20

Today, Tuesday 11/20, we had individual conferences instead of regular class meeting, and Tuesday 11/27 will be the same. (Some of you are scheduled for Wednesday, 11/28 instead.) Showing up for your 15 minute conference counts for 2 days' worth attendance or absence--and last-minute emails about a change of plans are not acceptable substitute.
You can get the instructions for HW 37, which is due Thursday, 11/29 from my academic website:
Our next class, Thursday 11/29 is peer review, so bring the latest draft of your semester-long project to work on.
Tuesday 12/4 will be a workshop with Writing Center tutors, so bring in a draft of your project then too.
On Thursday 12/6, our last class, you'll hand in your semester-long projects and portfolios. Attached to the final draft of the semester-long project must be all your previous peer drafts, peer feedback you've received, and any thing that led up to the final draft. Your portfolio should also include printouts of all your blog posts. I recommend getting a three ring binder to organize and contain this massive compendium of your writing. Don't pay for one--get a free one from the reuse-and-recycle room in the basement of Eliot.
You will also be required to submit your semester-long project to Blackboard for the Integrative Studies Program evaluation. For that part you take off your name and other identifying info and name the file with your student id #.
If you haven't already scheduled and attended your required Writing Center visit, be sure to do so soon.
So...lots of work coming up but you are going to be all done very soon, and no final exam for this class.
Note that you can often IM me with simple, quick questions through the "Meebo Me: Instant Office Hours" widget here on the blog. It will say whether I (mendhamt) am online.

Citizenship Symposium

Several student posts about the Keene State College Citizenship Symposium were mentioned on the Citizenship Symposium Weblog. Yay, Brendon, Rachel, Alicia, Kerri, Kate, Corinne, and Renee!
Members of Tracy Mendham’s ITW 101 class, a writing class examining issues of gender in new media, attended many of the lectures during the symposium and commented on them in their own blogs. You can read their responses here on Tracy’s Google reader feed. I’ve also pulled out a couple entries below. Note: The responses are meant to be journal entries, not polished pieces, and the writing is very informal:

“Animation as Political and Social Constructions”

“Blogging: Are All Citizens Publishers and Reporters?”

“Voting Theory and the Question of Fairness”

“Citizenship, Youth, and Civic Engagement”

June Cross, “Secret Daughter”

“What Kind of Democracy Do We Want?”

“Citizenship and Responsibility”

Mike Caulfield @ November 19, 2007

A Blog of One's Own #20

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #20

A Blog of One's Own #19

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #19

A Blog of One's Own #18

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #18

A Blog of One's Own #17

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #17

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Podcasts on Baghdad Burning and Ramadan

As you can see, the podcasts for our Homework 36 assignment are starting to roll in, and I think they're pretty cool. The podcasts recorded and published through Gabcast are automatically appearing in individual blog posts here on the ITW 101 blog.
If this isn't enough podcastic listening pleasure you can subscribe in iTunes, too. Here's how.
  • Start iTunes on your computer. (If you don't have iTunes and want it, go to to download the free software.)
  • Click on the Advanced menu, then click on the Subscribe to Podcast item.
  • In the box that pops up asking the the URl, put in
  • Click OK.
  • And voila--you're done.
There are other "podcast catcher" programs besides iTunes. Juice is the free, open-source program that used to be iPodder. It's less flashy than iTunes, and is simple and seems to run faster on older machines.
I can't wait to see some of the Audacity-produced podcasts from students, too.

A Blog of One's Own #9

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #9

A Blog of One's Own #8

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #8

A Blog of One's Own #7

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #7

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday 11/15

Today's agenda:
An information session on evaluating online sources by our esteemed library liaison, Deng Pan.
I collect the first instructor drafts of your semester-long projects. (Important!)
Those who didn't already sign up for an individual conference time do so.
Discuss the reading in Baghdad Burning (Riverbend 98-124).
Prepare for group podcasts. Distribute instructions for HW 36, which is due by midnight on 11/20.
You will need to get the instructions for HW 37 from outside my office, or get print them out for the website or blog. HW 37, the second podcast, is due at our next regular class meeting on 11/29.
Also due on 11/29, bring your semester-long project for our final peer review
...And actually, you have to bring a copy of your semester long project every day. On 12/4 we will have a proofreading and editing workshop by Center for Writing tutors, and on 12/6, the last day of class, you turn in your projects and portfolios for good. The end is near!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stressing about the Podcast?

It won't be that bad! Check out the instructions for the first one. It's HW 36 on my academic website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday 11/13

Agenda for today:
  • Discuss reading in Riverbend
  • Introduction to podcasting.
  • HW 32 and 33 were due today.
  • Handout for HW 34 and 35 distributed.
  • Sign up for individual conferences, which will be held 11/20 and 11/27
  • Announcement that Deng Pan will come to class Thurs. 11/15 to provide an information session on evaluating sources
  • Reminder that your instructor drafts are due Thursday 11/15 and while they are not graded, completion of drafts and peer reviews count for 10% of your grade for the course. Don't forget the draft and don't have a printing problem.

Audacity on ESEC lab computers

Audacity, the software that you can use for creating podcasts, has been installed on the computers in the ESEC computer lab, which is in Rhodes 163.
If you want to download Audacity to your own computer, you can do so at We'll view the "Mixing with Audacity" YouTube tutorial in class. You may also be interested Fabian Brown's "Audacity Tutorial" or another video also titled "audacity tutorial" by MikeyK777 at (you have to love a kid with the self-confidence to crackle candy wrappers while he records a video).
Your other option for creating podcasts is Gabcast at, which you only need a phone to use. You can use the account I set up for the class; the class account is Channel 8538 I will give announce the password in class. If you're feeling slightly more adventurous, you can try setting up your own Gabcast account and channel at You can view a YouTube tutorial by Matthew Gordon, "Getting Started with Gabcast," at .

Friday, November 9, 2007

Symposium Reminder

Our last class event is at 11:30 today, Friday: "Blogging: Are All Citizens Publishers and Reporters?" in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center. The speakers include Blue Hampshire's Mike Caulfield and Daily Kos' Laura Clawson.
By the way, Mike Caulfield and the other staff covering the events of the symposium for the Citizenship Symposium Weblog are only able to attend and write about some of the events. Please feel free to post about any of the events that you attend in the symposium, even if they're not during our regular class times. I will consider the posts for a small amount of extra credit, and the Symposium Weblog may link to your post if your account provides needed coverage of the event.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Still the Symposium

Hi everyone; just a reminder that today (Thursday 11/8) we're attending select sessions of the Citizenship Symposium instead of holding regular class.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

HW 32 and 33 for Tuesday, 11/13

The assignments for Tuesday, HW 32 and 33 can be downloaded here.
For those that chose today's session of the citizenship symposium, remember that Professor Steve Clark will be presenting "Iraq Body Count: Real People, Fake Numbers" at 3:30-5 pm today (Wednesday) in room 309 of the Student Center.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tuesday 11/6 & Instructor Draft

Hi, everyone. Just a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday 11/6, we will be attending certain sessions the Citizenship Symposium instead of holding regular class. See the HW 28, 29, 30, and 31 handout. Your assigned blog posts should be completed and posted as usual. You can read the full schedule of symposium speakers at
Also, the instructor draft of the semester-long project, HW 29, is not due until Thursday, 11/15.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday, 11/1

Today's agenda:
  • Handout with instructions for HW 28, 29, 30 and 31 (covers all of next week). Quick discussion of what it means to have a complex and arguable claim/thesis statement in your semester-long project.
  • Symposium session signup sheet--our regular sessions of class next week, 11/6 and 11/8, will be replaced by attendance at the Keene State College Citizenship Symposium . Students will tell me in advance which sessions they're going to, and then write blog posts about each one. Two are required, a third may be used as extra attendance credit. The symposium will tie in nicely with our work with Baghdad Burning, blogging, and the empowerment of marginalized groups.
  • Discussion of first readings in Baghdad Burning. Students share some of their thoughts from HW 25.
  • Watch videos about two central characters in our reading, Paul Bremer and Ahmed Chalabi.
11/2/07: Here's the link to the handout for HW 28, 29, 30, and 31. If you weren't in class you also need to tell me which two of the four offered sessions you're going to attend next week. Look at the sign-up sheet handout and then email me your 2 or 3 choices (12 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 6 o'clock). In addition to the ones listed on the sheet I've also added Professor Steve Clark's "Iraq Body Count: Real People, Fake Numbers" to your choices--it's 3:30 to 5:00 on Wednesday.

On Campus With Women

A recent issue of the professional journal, On Campus with Women focuses on Women on the Web. Some of you may find it useful in your research for your semester-long project. Articles include:

Kortney Ryan Ziegler's "Academic Blogging as Cultural Exchange"
I started my blog, blac(k)ademic, in October 2005 during the first year of my doctoral studies. Feeling constrained by the fundamentally hermetic quality of the academy--where important intellectual conversations have a tendency to remain within ivory walls--I wanted to take advantage of the net’s accessibility to cultivate my research as well as expand intellectual discourse outside of academe. Thus I dedicated a majority of my blogging to forming relationships with other women of color in the academy whose research interests mirrored mine. Most importantly, however, I wanted to create a safe space for dialogue that included the voices of queer black women and other bodies of color.

Deborah Siegel's "A PhD Gets Wired, Or How I Traded the Podium for the Mouse"

Technological innovation can transform a culture, but it can also transform a career. It did mine. When I started out as a PhD student in English and American Literature at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, I could hardly imagine that fourteen years later I’d be calling myself “Girl with Pen” in public, living in New York City, and writing for The Guardian. That pen, really, is a keyboard. But I like mixing it up.

Kathy Fischer, "Facebooking Feminism"

My colleagues and I were amazed at how integral Facebook had become to the lives of our students, and although we found certain uses of the site disturbing, we saw its popularity as presenting a unique opportunity. Using Facebook, we could meet students in their social world, and incorporate a feminist presence and critique into a space that can be prone to sexism, racism, and homophobia.

Meredith Anderson, "Digital Pathways Toward Scientific Careers for Women in Kerala, India"

Such findings evidence the beginnings of social change for women in Kerala. Women’s heightened awareness of international opportunities could easily lead to an increased rate of publication in foreign journals and then to more frequent international travel and research. While Internet technology may not be intrinsically or uniformly beneficial, it holds the possibility of improving professional standing for women scientists in Kerala. With appropriate attention to the basic needs and education of more impoverished populations, similar benefits could likely reach women in all social positions.

Baghdad Burning in Bookstore

Good news for stragglers! There are now 12 copies of Baghdad Burning for sale in the college bookstore. (As noted in the syllabus, having the assigned reading material with you when you come to class is a requirement of the course.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

HW 27

Hi gang:
I'm having trouble with the program I use to add documents to my academic website, so I'm going to put the directions for HW 27 here on the blog.

HW 27: Annotated Bibliography Entry for Baghdad Burning
for A Blog of One’s Own: Women and Authorship in the Digital Revolution
The purpose of this assignment is to to encourage pre-reading of a challenging text.
First do the assigned reading for this week, which is the Introduction and first two days of posts in Baghdad Burning (Riverbend xi-7)
Your previous reading assignment was to read the preface and skim the book, reading the first and last paragraph of each chapter or section, and reading the first and last sentence of each paragraph. Prereading the book also means that you read the front and back cover of the book jacket, and all the other information provided on the first and last few pages of the book: “Advance Praise,” title page, Editor’s Note, credits, information about the press.
Next, I’d like you to create a post in the style of an annotated bibliography entry like you wrote for an ealier phase of your semester-long project.
Write a post of 150-400 words in which you:

  • Give all the information you’d give in a works cited entry: full title, publisher, year, etc.
  • Describe the book and explain how it fits into your work in the course. Who is the author, how and why was it written, what in general will you learn from reading it, and what benefits and challenges does it present?
  • Write for a reader who has not seen the book or doesn’t know it well.
  • Spellcheck and give the post a descriptive title which includes "HW 27"

Remember, you can’t truly judge a book or an author until you have heard them out, and that means reading a book all the way through. But a first step in understanding a book and hearing an author out is to give the book a “superficial” reading or “prereading.” This helps you understand the scope and purpose of the book, which aids in your understanding it as you do the careful, thorough reading of the text you’ll do next.

PS: 10/30: HW 27 is now also available on my academic website at .

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Bloggers Without Borders"

Blogger Riverbend posted to her blog, Baghdad Burning, last week--a somewhat rare event this year. She's in Syria and facing the same visa and immigration challenges as many of other of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees living in the country. (I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, but why isn't the US doing more to provide sanctuary for the 2.2 million Iraqis displaced since we invaded and occupied the country? According to a Reuters story today, we have taken in a grand total of 1,608 displaced Iraqis since the conflict began, and "have plans" to resettle 7,000 this year. It seems like drop in the bucket.)

Bloggers Without Borders...
Syria is a beautiful country- at least I think it is. I say “I think” because while I perceive it to be beautiful, I sometimes wonder if I mistake safety, security and normalcy for ‘beauty’. In so many ways, Damascus is like Baghdad before the war- bustling streets, occasional traffic jams, markets seemingly always full of shoppers… And in so many ways it’s different. The buildings are higher, the streets are generally narrower and there’s a mountain, Qasiyoun, that looms in the distance.
[...]The first weeks here were something of a cultural shock. It has taken me these last three months to work away certain habits I’d acquired in Iraq after the war. It’s funny how you learn to act a certain way and don’t even know you’re doing strange things- like avoiding people’s eyes in the street or crazily murmuring prayers to yourself when stuck in traffic. It took me at least three weeks to teach myself to walk properly again- with head lifted, not constantly looking behind me.
It is estimated that there are at least 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria today. I believe it.

(Riverbend, Baghdad Burning, 10/22/07)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Way to Go!

I just wanted to say how pleased I was with the work I saw in peer drafts today--98% of the papers I saw were either 7 pages long, or at least more than halfway there. A job well done by all three sections of the class.
And the Red Sox are in the World Series, and Keene out-pumpkined Boston this year. I think I hear angels singing.

Thursday, 10/25: What We Did & A Word to the Wise for Next Week

Please remember to bring your books to class Tuesday. I will be sending students who come without the material home for their books, and you'll be counted as late or absent without them. We'll be onto Baghdad Burning already...the semester's flying by.
By the way, some of the material in Baghdad Burning may be somewhat upsetting to read. Our country's government doesn't always come looking so good and it's hard sometimes not to feel defensive. Be prepared to practice some critical distance and open-mindedness.
Today the 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections of the class will complete peer reviews using the Rough Draft Peer Review method. Once peer review is complete students will spend the rest of the period working on their drafts, so bring your books and handouts. I'll check the drafts in order to credit you for having completed the work.
I'll distribute the handout for HW 25 and 26. HW 25 is the first post about Baghdad Burning. HW 26 is the 10 page peer draft. We'll complete another, faster method of peer review on that draft.
The 6 o'clock section will go to the library for our second session; which will include an introduction to EBSCOhost, Lexis-Nexis, and GenderWatch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Research Tips

Here are some tips and reminders for conducting research for your semester-long project.
Deng Pan and the research staff at the library are available to help you (as am I). Deng can be most helpful if you email her a couple of days in advance of your visit to the library, so that she can make time to assist you.
The "Ask a Librarian" page is your friend. Does it get any more convenient than being able to IM, email, phone, or visit library staff for help?
Some more handy facts, mostly gleaned from Deng's handy orange information sheets...
Subject headings: These are the exact words that our topics are listed under in the library catalog (Keene-Link) and elsewhere. Try them in your next search.

  • blogs
  • communication and culture
  • digital communications
  • digital media
  • electronic mail systems
  • instant messaging
  • mass media and women
  • mass media - ownership
  • mass media - technological innovation
  • online journalism
  • online social networks
  • webcasting
Here are some Library of Congress classification call number categories. Go to the library and browse the sections that are relevant to your topic:

  • HQ1180-HQ1186 Women's studies
  • P94-P96 Special aspects of the media
  • PN4784.062 Online journalism
  • TK5103-TK5105 Digital communications
To find articles, you can go on the Web to Mason Library-->Find an eSource-->Indexes and Databases.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic provides full-text documents from over 6,000 publications. Since they cover a lot of newspapers and magazines, which may be your main source of information on new technologies, this database can be a powerful tool.
  • GenderWatch is a full-text database that provides in-text coverage of subjects central to women's lives.
  • Academic Search Premier is multidisciplinary database with full text for nearly 4,000 scholarly publications.
Other useful databases through EBSCOhost are:

  • Communication & Mass Media Complete (communication and mass media)
  • ERIC (education) Newspaper Source (newspapers)
  • Soc-Index with Full Text (sociology)
  • PsychINFO (psychology)

Thursday 10/24: Library Information Literacy Session/Virginia Woolf

For class yesterday, the different sections had different agendas.
The 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections went to the library for our second information session with the Mason Library's Head of Technical Services (and our library liaison for this course), Deng Pan. Deng showed us how to use the library databases to find articles with Academic Search Premier/EBSCOhost, Lexis-Nexis, and GenderWatch. Students worked in small groups on an exercise identifying the difference between popular magazines and scholarly journals, and practiced searching Academic Search Premier or another database.
Students in the 6 o'clock section reported on the progress of their semester-long projects, and discussed Chapter 2 of A Room of One's Own.
For all sections, the 7-page draft is due on Thursday. The 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock sections will do peer review. The 6 o'clock section will just hand theirs in and do peer review next week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Please Take the Short Social Network Survey

If you haven't already done so, please take a short 3-question survey about what online social network sites you've used and which you prefer: click here to take survey.
Thanks to all who took part in the survey about which instant messaging service you prefer. AOL Instant Messenger was by far the favorite.
You may find conducting a survey yourself to be useful in your own research for the semester-long research and writing project. If enough people create polls or surveys, I'd even be willing to devote some class time for participation in them. Blogger can be used to create simple polls and SurveyMonkey can be used to create multi-question surveys that you can email or post links to on your blog.

Thursday 10/18

Yesterday, on Thursday 10/18, we watched two short films about writing and feedback, Shaped by Writing and Across the Drafts, and discussed the readings in Virginia Woolf, with particular attention to Chapter 1 of A Room of One's Own. The assignment that was due was HW 22, a response to Chapter 2 of Woolf.
HW 23 is due Tuesday 10/23.
HW 24 and 24 B are due Thursday 10/25.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hw 17 repost

The blog that I enjoyed most this week I found at Jezebel. This blog has proved to be my favorite so far just because it’s so fun and interesting. The blog I read was entitled “Gossip Girls say: If it’s true its gossip”. You can get to this page by clicking It was all about the new series Gossip girls that is based on a series of books. I was attracted to this article because I read these books prior to the television show coming out. The article was about how interviewers went into Manhattan to a publicity event for the new book and asked some teens and young women if they gossiped. I absolutely loved how women responded. The title of this article is what one woman said and others responded in the same manor. Some stated that it’s not gossip just informing people of what’s going on. Even I know and can admit that I gossip. My favorite response came from a sixteen year old girl “Yeah, I only talk about people behind their backs. But I don't make up lies. And I only do it sometimes." This shocked me completely. It scary to think that young girls actually think this is acceptable. Although I found these book to be completely addicting I hope they are not teaching young girls to gossip.