Warning: This is an archived course website that is part of my teaching portfolio, so some links may no longer work. Please contact me with any questions about this site.

Posted by Quinn Warnick April 21, 2011 Comments Off

We’re in the home stretch of the semester, and I know how busy you’ll be over the next few weeks. In this class, you should be focusing your energies on two assignments: (1) revising your Project #3 research paper, and (2) completing your Project #5 digital documentary film. To help you do that, I have eliminated all other readings and homework assignments between now and the end of the semester. Here’s how we’ll spend our time during the next few weeks:

  • On Wednesday, April 27, I will hold short conferences with each team during class. Please come to class ready to report on the progress your team has made since we last met. You will have the remainder of the class session to finalize your team’s work schedule and assign tasks to individual group members. If it would be helpful, you can spend part of this class session working on Final Cut Pro in Adrian’s office; however this should NOT be the first time your team opens its Final Cut Pro file. (Translation: Your homework between now and Wednesday is to import your footage and begin arranging clips.)
  • On Friday, April 29, we will meet in WOB 137 for a video-editing workshop. You will have the full class period to work on your project, and I will be available to help you address any technical problems you’re having. Your revised research paper is due at the beginning of class. To submit your project, please staple a copy of your revised paper to your previous draft (the one with my comments and grading sheet). [Update: You may find it helpful to re-read the document "Revising Drafts" that we discussed earlier in the semester.]
  • On Monday, May 2, we will meet in WOB 137 again. By this point, your team should be completely done shooting video, and your efforts should be focused squarely on editing your footage, recording narration (if necessary), and adding audio. I have added several links to the Resources page that might be useful as you work on these tasks.
  • On Wednesday, May 4, we will meet in our regular classroom and conduct a group peer-review exercise. Please come to class ready to show a “rough cut” of your documentary film to your classmates. The further along you are at this point, the better feedback you’ll receive, so it would be wise to treat this as a serious deadline. We don’t have Final Cut Pro in our classroom, so you will need to export your video or burn it to a CD/DVD in order to play it in class. It is your team’s responsibility to make sure that your video is watchable.
  • On Friday, May 6, we will meet in WOB 137 for a final video-editing workshop. This will be your last chance to meet with me before before the final, so come to class with a list of questions or problems you want to discuss. I will meet briefly with each team, but you will have the rest of the class session to work on polishing your film.
  • Our final will be held on Monday, May 9, at 11:15 a.m. We will meet in our regular room with Dr. Loewe’s class, and we will watch all eight documentary films during the final. Your team should be ready to show your film on the projector, and you should bring a copy of your film on physical media (e.g., CD or DVD) to submit to me and you should bring your complete project (i.e., the folder containing your Final Cut Pro or Premiere files) on an external hard drive. Finally, you should bring a printed copy of your individual reflection memo, as described in the Project #5 assignment sheet.

I know this looks daunting, but I am confident that all of you can do great work on these last two assignments. I can’t wait to see your documentaries! As always, if you have questions along the way or feel like you need extra help, let me know—and don’t wait until the last minute. I’m happy to meet with your team as often as needed to help you succeed.

Posted by Quinn Warnick April 15, 2011 Comments Off

Now that your proposals are approved and your scripts are drafted, it’s time for the fun part: filming and editing your documentary films. Your team should begin shooting video this weekend, and I hope you’ll let me know if you encounter any serious problems along the way. Next week, we will focus on some of the more technical aspects of this project, which should help your team stay on track before everyone leaves for Easter break.

On Monday, we will discuss basic concepts related to video editing. Before you come to class, spend some time on the Vimeo Video School website, which is a collection of articles and video tutorials about making successful videos. In particular, you might want to watch the tutorials in the Video 101 section or look at the Featured Lessons. You won’t have time to watch all of these videos, so it might be helpful if each member of your team focuses on a different topic (sound, editing, equipment, etc.) then shares that information with the rest of the team. In class, we will discuss what you’ve learned from these lessons, so take notes on the videos/articles you watch/read.

On Wednesday, Adrian Tapia will return to our class to help us with Final Cut Pro. He will present a short tutorial on editing clips together and adding audio to a project, then we will visit Adrian’s office, where he can help each team set up its Final Cut Pro project. Important: please bring your external hard drives to class on Wednesday.

We won’t meet as a class on Friday (or the following Monday), due to the Easter break. However, before you leave for the break, every member of your team should know what he or she is doing over the weekend. We will talk about this more in class on Monday and Wednesday. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Posted by Quinn Warnick April 10, 2011 Comments Off

I hope your team work sessions on Wednesday and Friday were productive. If you used your time well, you should be able to finalize your Project #4 prospectus and begin creating your digital documentary film before this week ends. Here’s how we’ll spend our time this week:

  • On Monday, I will meet with each team for 30 minutes to review your Project #4 prospectus. These meetings will take place in my office (211 Premont Hall), not in our regular classroom. All members of your team must attend (if you can’t remember your meeting time, check with your teammates!), and you should bring two printed copies of your completed prospectus to the conference. If all goes well, you will leave my office with approval to begin work on your film.
  • On Wednesday, we will discuss the process of writing a documentary film script. Before you come to class, please read “How to Draft a Documentary Script,” linked on the Readings page.
  • On Friday, we will apply the ideas from “How to Draft a Documentary Script” to Schlimazeltov!, one of the short documentaries we watched last week. Your homework for Friday is to watch Schlimazeltov! again, this time from the perspective of the filmmakers. Think specifically about the script of the film and how the filmmakers arranged the various components of the film into a coherent narrative. We will discuss this in class, so be prepared to share your insights.

If you have any questions about these plans, please email me.

Posted by Quinn Warnick April 1, 2011 Comments Off

I thought Adrian’s technology demonstration in our class today was incredibly helpful, and I hope it got you thinking about the tools and techniques you want to use for your digital documentaries.

Next week will be a big change from what we’ve been doing recently, for a couple of reasons. First, we’ll be shifting our focus to the study of short documentaries to learn how others compose with film. Second, I’ll be at a conference for most of the week, so you’ll be spending time working in teams to plan your digital documentaries. Here’s the detailed plan:

  • On Monday, we will analyze several short documentary films, paying particular attention to the filmmaking techniques used by the films’ creators. Before you come to class, please read “Camera Shots, Angles, and Movements” (watch the video on that page, too!), then watch the following short documentaries: Facts About Projection, Schlimazeltov!, Shinya Kimura, The Best Thing I Ever Done, and Comic Sans. The total running time for all five of these films is less than 45 minutes, so you should be able to watch all of them at least once (and preferably twice) before class on Monday. Put on your headphones, play the videos full-screen, and really focus on the techniques used in each of these films.
  • On Wednesday and Friday, I will be at a conference, so you will have two days of dedicated research and drafting time to work on your team’s prospectus for Project #4. I know it will be tempting to view these days as vacation, but doing so will put your team behind schedule. On the Monday after I get back (April 11), I will meet with each team to review and (I hope) approve your prospectus. If you use your time wisely during Week 12, your prospectus should be ready to go. However, if you come to your team meeting on the 11th with an incomplete plan for your project, I will ask you to revise and resubmit your prospectus. You will not be allowed to begin work on Project #5 until I have signed off on Project #4.

Finally, some of you need to be reminded about submitting an electronic copy of your research paper. If you have not done so already, please follow these steps to submit your paper:

  1. Go to Google Docs and login with your Google/Gmail username and password. (If you don’t have a Google account, you should create one, since we’ll be using Google Docs for Projects #4 and #5.)
  2. Once you’re logged in, click on the “Upload” button near the top-left corner of the page. You’ll be prompted to locate your file on your hard drive and upload it to the site. Make sure that the box is checked next to this line: “Convert documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and drawings to the corresponding Google Docs formats,” then click “Start upload.”
  3. Once the file is uploaded, click the “Share” button in the top-right corner and add “email hidden; JavaScript is required” to the list of people sharing your document. Make sure that “Can edit” is selected next to my name, then click “Share.”
  4. That’s it. You’re done.

If you have any questions about your team’s ideas for Projects #4 and #5, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll see you on Monday.

Posted by Quinn Warnick March 25, 2011 Comments Off

I think the exercises we completed in Week 10 helped everyone stay (or get) on track with Project #3. I have been very excited to see the progress you’ve made from the time you submitted your original research topics until now. Next week, we’ll finish up the research paper and move on to Project #4 and Project #5, both of which revolve around the creation of original short documentary films. Here’s a quick overview of how we’ll spend our time:

  • On Monday, we will discuss strategies for writing effective introductions and conclusions. Your only homework for the weekend is to continue drafting your research paper, so please make sure you dedicate a substantial amount of time to that endeavor.
  • On Wednesday, we will conduct a peer review exercise. Please bring three printed copies of your research paper to class. I recognize that your paper might be “drafty” at this point, but it should be complete, including an MLA-formatted works cited page.
  • On Friday, I will introduce Projects #4 and #5, then we will receive some technical training from Adrian Tapia about the technical tools that you will be using to complete your work on those projects. We will meet jointly with Dr. Loewe’s class for this session. The final draft of your research paper is due at the beginning of class on Friday. Please bring a printed, stapled copy of your paper to class and upload an electronic copy of your paper to Google Docs (name it like this: “Your Name Research Paper”) before you come to class.

One final reminder: On Monday, I will be placing you in teams of three students for Projects #4 and #5, so if you would like to work with a specific classmate (or classmates), please email me with your requests by Sunday evening. All requests should be “mutually approved” (i.e., both people should confirm that they want to work together). I will do my best to honor all requests, but I can’t make any promises.

Posted by Quinn Warnick March 14, 2011 Comments Off

I hope you are thoroughly enjoying Week 9, a.k.a. Spring Break. When we get back next week, we will pick up where we left off, focusing on strategies for using research to support our arguments. Here’s how we’ll spend each day of Week 10:

  • On Monday, we will not meet as a class; instead, I will hold an individual conference with each of you to discuss your progress on the research paper. At this point, I have received all of your research plans, and I will read them during Spring Break. At your conference, I will help you focus your research question and tentative thesis, and you will have the chance to ask any questions you have about the research or writing process.
  • On Wednesday, we will explore different approaches for making persuasive arguments. Please read pages 493–99 in Convergences before you come to class.
  • On Friday, we will analyze several articles to see how their authors use “point of view.” Before you come to class, please read pages 564–66 in Covergences, then review two articles we’ve read before, on pages 493–99 and 606–08. we will focus on outlining and drafting your research papers. Before you come to class, please complete the Argument Summary Exercise, linked on the Readings page, and bring a printed copy of your document to class.

One last note: The end of Week 8 marks the midpoint of the semester, and I will be submitting individual progress reports for each of you this week. If you have any questions about your midterm grade, you can login to Blackboard to see your scores on each component of your grade.

Posted by Quinn Warnick March 4, 2011 Comments Off

I think the past two days of combined meetings with Dr. Loewe’s class have been very productive. By this point, you should have submitted your “statement of narrowed topic” to me via email. (If you haven’t done this; stop what you’re doing and email me!) I will be responding to your emails this weekend, so by Monday everyone should be ready to move forward on Project #3.

Next week is our last week before spring break, and we have a lot to accomplish. Here’s how we’ll spend our time in class:

  • On Monday, we will continue our discussion about finding and evaluating sources. Before you come to class on Monday, please complete the exercise we started in class on Friday. You should try to find at least one source in each of the following categories: an article from a peer-reviewed academic journal; a newspaper article published within the last year; a government report, hosted on a government-sponsored site; a printed book (check to see if a digital preview is available); and a website published by a non-crazy advocacy group. In addition, please read “Googlepedia: Turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills,” by Randall McClure, linked on the Readings page.
  • On Wednesday, we will turn our attention to the importance of treating sources fairly and citing them accurately. Before you come to class, please read pages 605–21 in Convergences, paying particular attention to how the authors incorporate the ideas of other writers and researches into their own arguments. Also, if you didn’t complete the exercise on evaluating sources in class, please submit your responses before you come to class on Wednesday.
  • On Friday, we will wrap up our discussion about research and talk about our next steps for Project #3. Before you come to class, you should have completed your own Research Plan, using the template I created in Google Docs. Please submit your Research Plan to me via email, either as an attached MS Word file or a shared Google Doc.

If you have any questions about these assignments, please come see me during office hours on Monday or Wednesday. I really want to make sure that everyone is on track before we leave for spring break.

Posted by Quinn Warnick February 25, 2011 Comments Off

I was very impressed by what I saw during our peer-review activity today. Most of your videos are in great shape, and I can’t wait to watch the finished products next week. Your only homework over the weekend is to put the finishing touches on your video and to begin thinking about what specific topic you would like to pursue for Project #3, the research paper.

We’ll spend all three days next week getting started on the research paper. Here’s how we’ll spend our time each day:

  • On Monday, I will introduce the research paper assignment, then we will conduct an in-class activity designed to help you find the right topic for your paper. Your video essay, along with a printed copy of your final script, is due at the beginning of class. Please review the assignment sheet for Project #2 before you finalize your video. If you have any questions about file formats for saving your finished video, please email me.
  • On Wednesday, we will meet jointly with Dr. Loewe’s 1302 class to talk about strategies for developing an argument. Before you come to class, please print out and read the selections from The Craft of Research, by Wayne C. Booth, et al., linked on the Readings page.
  • On Friday, we will meet with Dr. Loewe’s class again to discuss research tools and strategies. Before you come to class, please print out and read two documents: “Tips for Doing Research Online,” by Harvard University, and “Walk, Talk, Cook, Eat: A Guide to Using Sources,” by Cynthia R. Haller. Both documents are available on the Readings page. Update: Before you come to class, please email me your “statement of narrowed topic” for Project #3. (Refer to the assignment sheet for details.)

Good luck wrapping up your video essays! If you have any questions about our plans for next week, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Posted by Quinn Warnick February 18, 2011 Comments Off

My goal for Week 5 was to help you develop confidence in working with audio- and video-editing tools, but I fear the result has been the exact opposite. Some of you seem intimidated by the tools we’re using for the Video Essay project, and others seem frustrated with the technological problems you’ve encountered. At this point in the semester, it may be time for a short pep talk. Here, then, are a few things to keep in mind as you work on your video essay:

  • Any time you use a new digital tool, you can expect to encounter technological problems. It’s part of the world in which we live, and it won’t do us any good to curl up in a ball and avoid new technologies. The only way for us to overcome our fears and frustrations is through steady, persistent practice.
  • The good news is that most technological problems have solutions. If you are encountering a specific software problem, the chances are very good that someone else has had the same problem and has posted a solution on the internet. When you hit a wall, don’t give up and decide to wait until our next class to ask me about it. Instead, try to find help online, or go to Media Services (207 Moody Hall) for assistance.
  • Most importantly, remember that YOU CAN DO THIS. This is an honors class, and it’s designed to stretch you in ways that you haven’t been stretched before, so a bit of discomfort is to be expected. But every single member of this class is capable of producing outstanding work on this project. I have faith in you, so please don’t lose faith in yourself!

Now, having said all that, I’ve decided what we need during Week 6 is plenty of time for you to work, to help one another, and to ask me specific questions about your project. Hence, we will spend all three days next week in workshop mode. Monday and Wednesday will be reserved for you to work on your videos, and I will circulate around the room to help you tackle problems you’re having. On Friday, we’ll conduct a peer review workshop, so you should be ready to show a complete draft of your video essay to your peers on that day. (Remember that the final deadline for this project has been extended until Monday, February 28.)

One last reminder: Your final draft of Project #1 (the Definitional Essay) is due at the beginning of class on Monday, February 21. To submit your paper for grading, please staple together your final draft, your rough draft, and my preliminary evaluation of your rough draft.

If you have any questions about these items, leave a comment on this post or send me an email. Otherwise, I’ll see you on Monday with your laptops in tow!

Posted by Quinn Warnick February 11, 2011 Comments Off

I had a great time meeting with all of you in our one-on-one conferences today, and I hope you left my office with a stronger sense of where your video essay is headed and what you need to do next. This weekend, you should revise your script based on our conference. As you do so, keep in mind issues of timing, delivery, word choice, etc., and don’t forget to spend some time finalizing the list of film clips you want to include in your essay. Once your script is finalized, it’s time for the fun part: turning it into a video. That’s how we’ll spend most of Week 5. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of what we’ll do each day:

  • On Monday, we will review “Understanding Misunderstandings: How to Do a Rhetorical Analysis,” by Trish Robert-Miller (linked on the Readings page). Please read the article before you finalize your video essay script, and try to incorporate ideas from the article into your rhetorical analysis. We will spend the rest of the day in a peer review workshop, so please come to class with two printed copies of a new draft of your essay and at least one video clip that you want to use in your video essay.
  • On Wednesday, we will conduct a video-editing workshop. You should come to class with a digital copy of your film so we can practice extracting and combining clips for your video essay. If you are more comfortable working on your own laptop, you should bring it to class. UPDATE: If possible, please bring your own laptop to class.
  • On Friday, we will conduct an audio-editing workshop. Your video essay script should be polished and ready to record before you come to class. Again, you may want to bring your own computer to class.

Finally, this is a reminder that the due date for your revision of Project #1, the Definitional Essay, is Monday, February 21. We will talk more about this assignment in class next week, but it’s never too soon to start working on your revision.

Posted by Quinn Warnick February 4, 2011 Comments Off

I hope everyone enjoyed the unexpected day off today, and I hope you managed to stay safe and warm. The snow day has thrown a wrench into our plans, but we’ll try to get back on schedule during Week 4. Here’s how we’ll spend our time:

  • On Monday, we will catch up on what we missed today, by focusing on rhetorical analysis and conducting an in-class analysis activity using a short documentary film. Before you come to class, please read pages 221–34 in Convergences.
  • On Wednesday, we will discuss the terminology of rhetorical analysis and practice using rhetorical terms to critique films. Before you come to class, please print out and read the four three PDF files listed under “Project #2″ on the Readings page. Be ready to discuss these readings in class.
  • On Friday, we will not meet as a class, but I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your Project #2 drafts. You will sign up for an individual conference during class on Monday, and you should come to your conference with a rough (but complete!) draft of the script you intend to use for your video essay. We will discuss your draft and make plans for turning your script into a finished video.

Finally, a quick reminder: If I have not approved your selection of a documentary film for Project #2, please email me as soon as you read this to finalize your choice. If I have approved your film choice, you should watch your film at least once (but preferably more) before you come to class on Monday.

If you have any questions about these plans, or about anything else related to our class, please leave a comment on this post or send me an email.

Posted by Quinn Warnick January 28, 2011 1 Comment

I hope you enjoyed today’s Documentary Photography Exercise. Dr. Loewe and I are excited to see what your teams did when we meet together again on Monday.

Next week we will complete our collaborative activity, then we will spend two days discussing strategies for rhetorical analysis and how to apply those strategies to documentary films. Here’s a breakdown of how we’ll spend our time in class:

  • On Monday we will meet jointly with Dr. Loewe’s class in our regular classroom. Your homework for the weekend is to obtain copies of all photographs taken by members of your team during today’s photography exercise, then review your team’s photographs and select what you believe are the 10 “best” images for your theme. Come to class on Monday ready to discuss your choices with the other members of your team. In addition, Monday is the deadline for submitting your two film choices for Project #2. Please email me before you come to class on Monday with the titles of your films and, if they are online, links to your films. I will respond as quickly as I can to approve one of your choices. If you are struggling to find films that will work for Project #2, the Resources page has a long list of links to websites that host free documentary films.
  • By Wednesday, everyone will have chosen a film for Project #2, and we will begin our exploration of rhetorical analysis. Before you come to class, please read the following pages in Convergences: 2-18, 208-18, and 221-25.
  • On Friday, we will continue our discussion of rhetorical analysis, and we will conduct an in-class analysis activity using a short documentary film. Before you come to class, please read pages 221–34 in Convergences. UPDATE: Class canceled due to inclement weather.

If you have any questions about these plans, please leave a comment on this post or send me an email. I’ll see you in class on Monday—until then, I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Quinn Warnick January 21, 2011 Comments Off

I think we got off to a great start this week! Our class discussion today was lively and engaging, and I hope we’ll hold ourselves to that high standard as the semester moves along. If you didn’t participate much in today’s discussion, please don’t hesitate to jump into the mix next week. If this class is going to succeed, we need to hear all of your voices!

To follow-up on what I said in class, if you haven’t done so already, please do two things before we meet on Monday: (1) leave a comment on last week’s blog post, and (2) sign up for a Delicious account and send me your username via email.

Next week, we will focus on photography as a means of documenting the world around us. Please complete the following tasks before you come to class next week:

  • For Monday, please read pages 236–243 in Convergences and come to class ready to discuss Wendy Lesser’s essay about Weegee. In addition, please do some online research to familiarize yourself with the work of two photographers mentioned in the Coles essay: Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Wikipedia is a fine starting point, but try to go beyond that. When you find an interesting resource, bookmark it on Delicious using the “engw1302″ tag; this will allow everyone in class to see each other’s bookmarks. (Also, you should make sure that the page you want to share hasn’t already been bookmarked by someone else.)
  • For Wednesday, please read pages 244–252 in Convergences and be prepared to continue our discussion about documentary photography. Your Definitional Essay is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, so please be sure to carefully review the assignment sheet as you write and edit your paper.
  • We will spend the entire class period on Friday getting to know our counterparts in Dr. Loewe’s ENGW 1302 class by conducting a joint activity with them. We will give you specific instructions about the activity on Friday, but all you need to know right now is this: If you have a digital camera, please bring it to class on Friday.

I think that’s everything for now. If you have any questions about any of these items, or if you want to talk about your Definitional Essay, feel free to leave a comment on this post, email me, or come see me during my office hours (1:00-3:00) on Monday. Otherwise, have a great weekend!

Posted by Quinn Warnick January 18, 2011 12 Comments

Welcome to ENGW 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II (Honors). This website will function as the online headquarters for our class this semester. Each week, I will post an update to the website with details about coming week, deadline reminders, links to helpful resources, etc… I plan to use SEU’s Blackboard site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. If you ever wonder what’s due on a particular date, or what you need to read before you come to class, you can check this website for the answer. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can email me or stop by my office (211 Premont Hall) during my office hours (M/W 1:00–3:00, F 8:00–10:00).

A bit about me: I started at St. Edward’s in the fall, and I love it here. Before I moved to Austin, I was a doctoral student at Iowa State University, where I taught classes in the English Department and worked as the instructional technology coordinator for ISU’s communication-across-the-curriculum program. I study the relationship between rhetoric and technology, and I love experimenting with new technologies in the classroom and in my personal life. I’m married to a brilliant freelance writer and we have two daughters. During the holiday break, I drove 3,200 miles (it’s a long story), so I’m happy to be back on campus and starting a new semester.

I am excited to get to you know all of you and work with you this semester as we explore the principles of rhetoric and composition through the lens of documentary studies. We’re going to get started on our first assignment on Friday, so before you come to class, please print out and read “Doing Documentary Work,” by Robert Coles (linked on the Readings page). In addition, please review the policy document and the rest of the class website and come to class ready to ask any questions you might have.

Finally, a quick note about this website. Throughout the semester, I’ll be asking you to respond to posts on this website. To help you get comfortable with that process, please add a comment to this post. In your comment, tell me a little bit about yourself and then answer these questions: (1) What is your favorite documentary film? (2) Why? Before you post, a couple of warnings: (1) Your classmates will see what you write, so don’t include anything intended just for me. (2) This website is public, so we will stick to using first names only. Also, the software that powers this site screens comments from new commenters, so please be sure to use the same email address every time you respond to a post.