Tag Archives: assignment

Imaginary Interview Instructions

The imaginary interview is one of the 8 assignments the English department requires from all 101 students. (Due Monday 4/20 by the end of the day).


  1. Review the sources you think you are planning on including in your annotated bibliography.
  2. Choose two or three sources to work with for this activity.
  3. Write an imaginary conversation where you interview the authors of your sources about the topic of your final project.
      • You should ask at least three open-ended questions that allow the authors to give complex, interesting answers (3 points)
      • Each of the authors should respond to each of your questions, giving a complex, interesting answer (6 points) (So, you write a minimum of 6 responses total)
      • One of the authors should respond directly to the other author’s comment at least once (1 point)
      • The assignment should be turned in on time (2 points)

Total: 12 points

To complete this assignment, you must think about each author’s point of view (based on what they wrote/said in your source) in order to imagine (as accurately as possible) what they would think/say about your questions.

It also might help to consider, if you were actually interviewing those two people, what would be interesting to hear both of them talk about?

Format the interview like a script. For example:

Scripted Interview Formatting Example

Olivia: What is the most important thing you have learned in college so far, and why?

Student 1: I learned that I have to be really careful about planning my time, because it’s easy to get behind, and if you’re behind, you don’t have time to do a very good job on your assignments or think about them a lot. So you learn less, even if the material is easy.

Student 2: I learned a lot about the history of the American justice system and how it came to be the way it is, all the things we inherited from English Common Law, and also what we took from the Iroquois League’s constitution. I hadn’t even thought about the question in terms of life skills– I thought she was just asking about the content of the classes we’ve taken.

Student 1: Oh, that makes a lot of sense. And I’ve definitely learned useful stuff in my classes. But since I’m still in my general education classes, I think the skills I’m practicing are the most important, since they will be important for me to use in my major classes later on.

Annotated Bibliography Instructions and Rubric

The annotated bibliography is not due until Friday, April 24th. You have 3 weeks to work on it. However, because this week (I’m writing this on April 3) is reserved as research time, I wanted to make sure you have these guidelines well in advance so you know what you’re working towards.  


**But also see below for an Alternative Option**

  1. As you research your inquiry question for your final project, compile a list of sources (bibliography) that help you answer your question and/or provide useful background knowledge for you and your readers.
  2. Cite each source according to APA style.
  3. Below each citation, write a paragraph or so about that source (an annotation). The paragraph should include:– A summary of the source
    —Your thoughts on the source (How do you think you will use it in your paper? What biases do you think it might have? What are its strengths, and what are its weaknesses? How does it connect to your other sources?)

Other Guidelines:

  • At least 6 sources + annotations
  • At least half of the sources should be scholarly/found through the John Jay library databases. The other half can come from wherever as long as you think they are trustworthy.
  • In addition to writing each citation in APA style, you should also include these other aspects of APA formatting: title page with title, name, university, and any author’s note you want to include, correct running head on all pages, page numbers, correctly titled References page


Complete an APA-style bibliography without the annotations.

Then, create a video in which you show each source and verbally talk through the source and your analysis of it according to the guidelines for annotations above. You can do this via screencasting (built into iPhones and Macs, not sure about PCs and Androids) or by taking a video of your computer screen using your phone. It’s totally fine if the video is informal/unedited, but you can make it fancy if you want to.


Each source + annotation includes all required parts (citation, summary, your thoughts)
(3 points per entry = 18 points, but 1 point off per source that doesn’t meet the scholarly vs. not scholarly requirements. Make sure you have 3 scholarly sources—the other 3 can be scholarly or non-scholarly)

  • Source 1 ___
  • Source 2 ___
  • Source 3 ___
  • Source 4 ___
  • Source 5 ___
  • Source 6 ___

Total for this section: ____

Every other element of APA style listed in the instructions is met: 9 points

  • Title page ___
  • Title ____
  • Name ___
  • University ____
  • Author’s Note (if applicable) ____
  • Correct Running Head First Page ____
  • Correct Running Head Subsequent Pages ____
  • Page Numbers ____
  • Beginning of bibliography is titled “References” ___

Turned in on time (3 points) ____

***Due to the many serious ways the pandemic may be affecting our lives, if you turn it in late, I’ll just grade you out of 27 instead of out of 30. It’s sort of 3 free points, but each other aspect of the rubric affects your grade on the assignment a tiny bit (0.5% per point) more. I wanted a way to incentivize turning it in on time to keep folks on track and make my grading life easier without hurting those who can’t due to factors outside of their countrol.***

Total: ____ (out of 30 or 27 points)

Proposal Instructions

Here are the instructions for the Proposal, with revised deadlines to account for CUNY’s new “Recalibration Period.” You are more than welcome to post early if you don’t want the new surprise “break” to complicate your routine even more.

**Post your first draft of your proposal (or just your inquiry questions) on the Course Site by the end of Monday, March 30, give feedback to your classmates, and then upload your final draft to Blackboard by the end of Thursday, April 2**

If you have a question about any aspect of the instructions or rubric, please leave it in the comments!

Analysis of an Ad Assignment

Original Post Due: Wednesday 3/11 by class time
Comments To Your Classmates Due: Monday 3/16 by class time

For this assignment, you will take a picture of an ad or other poster that you see out in the world. We’re in NYC– there are ads everywhere. You may not use an ad we have already analyzed together in class, and you may not knowingly use the same ad as a classmate.

While it is possible to use WordPress on your phone, I strongly suggest you use a computer to write your post, especially if you have never used WordPress before.

Part 1 Instructions

After you find your chosen ad, do the following:

  1. Write a blog post on our course site following the Posting Directions. Embed the picture of your ad using the “Add Media” button.
  2. Under your picture of the ad, write a rhetorical analysis of your chosen ad. It should be the equivalent of about 2 pages of size 12/double spaced writing in a word processor.
  3. Before you post, find the “Categories” section in the right-hand sidebar of the post editor. Choose the “analysis of an ad” category.
  4. Hit the blue “Publish” button.

If you have questions about WordPress/how to post, you can email me or leave them in a comment.

Some guiding questions for your analysis:

  1. Who is the speaker in the ad? How is the speaker trying to present themselves? How does the speaker want you to view them? How do you know?
  2. What are the messages/arguments that the ad is trying to convey?
  3. What assumptions does the ad rely on?
  4. Who is the intended audience(s) of the ad? How do you know?
  5. What strategies does the ad use to try to persuade the audience?
  6. How does the ad appeal to ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade the audience?
  7. Do you think the ad is effective? Why or why not?

Part 2 Instructions

Choose (at least) two classmates’ posts to respond to with comments.

In your comments, you must add to their analysis of the ad. It is not enough to simply agree with their take and compliment them on it (although you can do that too!). Adding can mean disagreeing with their interpretation and explaining why, or it can mean offering additional interpretations even if you think their take is valid:  “Another interpretation could be that the argument is _________, because if you look at _________, maybe that means _________.” Or, you can analyze some aspect of the ad that your classmate didn’t talk about in their post!

Always support your analysis with evidence.

Each comment should be the equivalent of at least half a page of (size 12 double spaced) writing.

In Class Assignment- Analysis of “Cherry” by Amy Winehouse

Her name is Cherry
We’ve just met
But already she knows me better than you
She understands me
After eighteen years
And you still don’t see me like you ought to do

Maybe we could talk ’bout things
If you was made of wood and strings
While I love her every sound
I dunno how to tune you down
You’re so thick and my patience’s thin
So I got me a new best friend
With a pickup that puts you to shame
And Cherry is her name

And when I’m lonely
Cherry’s there
And she plays along while I sing out my blues
I could be crying
And you don’t care
You won’t call me back, you’re stubborn as mule
Maybe we could talk ’bout things
If you was made of wood and strings
You might think I’ve gone too far
I’m talking ’bout my new guitar

The song “Cherry”, off of Amy Winehouse’s album Frank, is in my opinion a peculiar yet powerful piece of music. This particular piece was written at a time when Amy was struggling with depression and dealing with an on again/off again relationship with her boyfriend. If you read through the lyrics you can see that Amy is describing the qualities of her “friend” Cherry. She offers comparison between the way Cherry makes her feel, versus the way her significant other does. Winehouse artfully illustrates the support that she gets from Cherry, and her lovers lack of care and interest in her struggle with depression.  At the conclusion of the song she finally reveals that Cherry is actually her guitar. I love this piece of music and I feel its powerful because it illustrates a suffering artists struggle with depression and how she uses music as a form of therapy.

First Assignment: Yourself as Reader, Writer, and Researcher

1-2 double-spaced pages on “Yourself as Reader, Writer, and Researcher” (Submit via the link on Blackboard OR post to our class blog if you want to share your response with your classmates too.) Due Wednesday, January 29th by class time (4:30pm).

Please submit as a .doc or .docx file, using size 12 font


We all have histories as readers, writers, and researchers, even if you hate these activities. For this assignment, help me get to know you by telling me about your history. Below are several questions for you to consider as you compose your answer. You do not need to address all of them, and feel free to talk about other things related to reading, writing, research, and English classes.

  • What kinds of things do you read? (Not just books!)
  • What kinds of things do you love to read or hate to read? Why?
  • What’s a really good memory you have about reading, or a really bad one?
  • What about writing?
  • How much writing did you do in high school, and what kinds of things did you write?
  • What kinds of research have you done in the past?
  • What do you find difficult or confusing about the research process?
  • What were your past English classes like?
  • How do you feel about starting this class? What would you like to learn? 

Rhetorical Devices Assignment

Each weekend, you will read short passages online about two rhetorical devices/strategies. (Usually two, sometimes more, sometimes less.)  During the following week, you should either find examples of people using these devices in the world OR make up your own examples and post them as comments to the Course Site blog post corresponding with those devices.

Along with each example, you should provide one or two sentences explaining the context and how the rhetorical device affects the rhetor’s message. If you made up the example, make up a context in which it could be used. Write about at least two examples per device per week. You may miss one week without penalty.

Additional Guidance on Analysis:
Good analysis doesn’t just answer the question, “How is your example representative of the rhetorical device?”. To develop your analysis, consider the following questions: “What does this device add to the meaning? ” “What effect does it have on the reader/listener?” or “What does the speaker/writer gain from using this device”? “What makes it different than saying the same information without using the rhetorical device?”

For example, saying “This is an example of Bandwagon because the commercial says that “America runs on Dunkin, so they are saying that everyone drinks Dunkin Donuts coffee” does not count as analysis. What does Dunkin hope to achieve by using this technique? How do they hope the use of the Bandwagon technique will affect the audience? 

Although the rhetorical device readings are listed as being due on Monday, I strongly recommend you read them as early (e.g. the preceding Thursday or Friday) as your schedule allows. This will give you more time to find examples.

Grading for the rhetorical device examples will be as follows:

0 points if you did not post.

1 point if you only posted one example per device, or if you did not provide context/analysis.

2 points if you completed the assignment.

Although each individual post is worth a very small portion of your grade, habitually not completing this assignment will significantly impact both your overall grade and your ability to do well on other assignments. The purpose of this assignment is to get you into the habit of noticing rhetoric at work around you while also learning about a wide variety of rhetorical strategies beyond the rhetorical appeals.