Being a chemist. Oops, science is POWERFUL!

ENGL 390, 390H, and (sometimes) 398V  Class Journal


Office hours until the end

Friday, 11-3, with noon interuption.  Best to email me if you show up to Tawes Rm 1230 or come upstairs to the faculty lounge.  I will leave the gathering to meet with you.

Monday-Wednesday:  11-1

Thursday 11-3.  3 is when I pack up and leave with all the papers.  

Good luck on FINALS!

Also, here is a link to a qualtics-platform survey about the class.  I would appreciate your time to fill this out. Just to be clear:  I will not see the results until long after grades are posted.  We use this information both for personal revision of the class, as well as broader analysis of the PWP courses.  Note, that the Course Eval work that campus emails you about is NOT the same as this survey.  Ideally, you will fill out both of these instruments.  I realize that you are all quite busy and distracted. Yet, your contribution to these data sets is important. Thank you for doing this.


Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 02:27PM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Happy Friday

For fun, let's look at Hope Jahren's twitter entry from yesterday. Here is a digital copy of the 1910 math book she is re-tweeting about.  Look at the audience sensitivity and the style element of addressing the readiers closely.

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 06:24AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

For Friday, we need to settle on a topic proposal

be prepared in class, with this format:

Working Title




Document type

Last semester's projects here.


Now, document design of your review. This is version is a cautionary tale for discussion at what will we aim at. Hint: google docs IS TERRIBLE AT DESIGN.  MS WORD is better.  Sort of. Here is a checklist for what needs to happen in this assignment.

You will need three or four images for Monday; bring them as jpgs.  Candidates?

  • journal cover 
  • web logo from journal site
  • image of lead authors (NEED evidence of permission)
  • visuals from the articles
  • quotes from article designed into a pull quote
  • useful figure from government or open access website

Designed, revised article review due on Friday, April 28.


Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 06:17AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | Comments1 Comment


Review due on Monday, hard-copy, stapled, double-spaced.  NO REWRITES.  Your grade will stand.  

Bring a digital copy of your review on Monday to class, because we will reformat this document to practice simple design techniques.

Checklist, with sample prose, here.

Watch out especially for natural language citation in this assignment.  We will chat about this, as well as simple nested definitions in the body paragraphs, as needed.

Posted on Friday, April 14, 2017 at 06:34AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment

Review, some phrase pointers, and etc.

Memoir links, for your pleasure:

NAS science memoir series

For pre-meds, read this on shamans and doctors

Plant scientists might like this on trains and photosynthetic bacteria

Memoir-like, James Sylvester Gates interview from On Being.

Will be a memoir eventually.....York and Chaos Theory

Sharks and Eugenie Clark, lots of good quotes here

Finally, this wow book by Noble prize winner John Mather

Arrangement pattern for review:



Author expertise/bio

point 1

point 2

point 3



Paragraph transitions: Think pearls beaded upon a string. Think train cars coupled. This UCSB guide is helpful with words that serve nicely as transition elements.  This writing guide emphasizes the value of repeating key words as a transition strategy.  You have two approaches:  tight and loose.  One "loose" transition variation relies on meta discourse, including the counting strategy.  You also have implied.

Phrases:  stacked modifiers and dangling/misplaced modifiers. More on stacked modifiers from Grammar Girl. MF or GG also takes on misplaced or dangling modifiers: start here; then, this, for some joy to help you remember.

Let's look at a visual way to remember the dangling modifier problem. This visual is courtesy of a former student, H.S. 

Piano. from Paul Rayment on Vimeo.


Piano. from Paul Rayment on Vimeo.

Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 06:36AM by Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea | CommentsPost a Comment
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