English 112

Reading, writing, gaming (with analysis!)

Midterm Time is Revising Time

We’re coming around to midterms now, and for an English class this usually means revision: developing our rough pieces of Inquiry Two material into fully fledged, five page (or more) papers. In the coming week and a half, we’ll be talking about how to add to your analysis, how to use your outside sources more effectively, and how to polish it up so your main argument will dazzle your readers.


This looks more like light editing than substantive revision. How nice is that desk, though? What a lovely place to work . . . (Image Source: Flickr)

You may also be engaging in another type of revision at this time: re-working your Inquiry One draft to score a better grade on it. If you left your works cited page off and are just after the five points lost from that, then bring in your graded copy of Inquiry One with the works cited added to it, and I’ll add those points. If you’re looking for more points in the content area of the paper, though, you’ll have more work in store for you. Come talk to me in the next week about revising, and have a plan ready to present to me. What are you going to revise in your paper and how are you going to go about it? Once we’re on the same wavelength about your revision strategies, I can give you the go ahead and we’ll set a due date for your revision.

You don’t have to be alone in the revision process, though, for either Inquiry One or Inquiry Two. Remember that I’m a resource, and I can offer guidance to you if you pop in during my office hours. It’s helpful if you have a draft or some jotted-down ideas we can discuss, but otherwise I’m always willing to help. You can also consult with your classmates and offer comments on each others’ drafts. Remember to leave the actual writing up to the writer, though! Offer suggestions and specific strategies to your friends, but let them come up with exactly how to apply them to their papers. That way you’ll all avoid plagiarism issues.

Lastly, the Howe Writing Center is there to help. You can set up an appointment, or go to one of the conveniently-scheduled revision workshops this week! There are two up for offer:

February 26, 6PM-7PM, King Library 320
February 28, 5PM-6PM, King Library 320
Be sure to take a copy of whatever draft(s) you want to work on, as it sounds like there may be workshopping involved.
BioShock Box Art
It’s also about time for you guys to be thinking about playing BioShock, so if you haven’t already gotten a copy of the game,you should do so. How you go about this is your business, but keep in mind that downloads take time, and so does shipping if you want a disc copy. We should really be playing the game in earnest by the time we get back from Spring Break, so use that to gauge your time frame. You should be able to h
ave your own save games, take your own screenshots, etc, so you should be actually playing the game yourself, not watching someone else (although you can play together, of course. Have a gaming party–you can call it homework!)
Make sure that you get the original game, which is just titled Bioshock. You’ll come across BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite, but we’re not playing those games. BioShock Infinite isn’t even out yet, although it is this year’s most anticipated game, and looks to be amazing from the trailers and gameplay teaser footage I’ve seen so far. So not only are we playing a game that’s relevant in terms of literary content, we’re also playing something that is very relevant in the gaming world. Yay, school being relevant to real life.
During Wednesday’s class, I’ll give you an overview of the beginning of the game, play some for you in class, and show you how to install cheat codes for the game. Don’t worry if you’re not good with games or computers: I’m going to break this down and provide you with a tutorial to make sure that you’re not lost, especially in the early stages of the game. Something that I really, really recommend for those of you playing on laptops is a USB or wireless mouse with at least two buttons and a scroll wheel. If you don’t have one already, you can get cheap USB mice at thrift shops and so forth. The game is playable with a trackpad, but it’s not a terribly great gameplay experience.

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