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There is no final exam, but I will accept your final paper until the time when the final exam was scheduled to end -- 12:30 on May 6.

While this due date was listed as Monday (the last day of classes), I will actually accept this during what would be our final exam (Tuesday, May 6, 10:30-12:30).

Due Today:

Portfolio 3

A presubmission report is a working document that asks you to focus on whether you have all the components of a good paper, before you launch into churning out the paragraphs.

You may find, as you work on the presubmission, that you need to adjust your thesis or otherwise shift your approach. That's fine -- you don't need to ask my permission to make such changes; that's what this assignment is for.

Remember that you might not find an entire article or book on the subject that you're researching; or, a book that you think is important may not be available in the time-frame you have left. These are the realities of research, and the best way to respond is to adjust your thesis so that you set out to prove something that you can, in fact, prove with the evidence available to you.

Your presubmission report is a word processor file, uploaded to

Also, bring a copy on Monday for your informal peer presentations.

1. Topic
2. Thesis statement (with topic, a precise but non-obvious opinion, and a blueprint for the paper)
3. Quotations supporting your thesis
4. Quotations supporting alternate or opposing arguments
5. Preliminary conclusion
6. MLA-style Works Cited list (demonstrating your knowledge of the correct format)
7. Format the presubmission as an MLA-style paper (title block, pagination, etc.)

I can give very useful feedback on just 2 pages, but the more you give me, the more helpful I can be.

Please don't write out the whole paper first, then "look for quotes" to support the opinion you reached before you did any research.

Complete this workout and bring a printout to class.


Claim a topic for a bibliography and 5-minute informal presentation. (You don't have to give the presentation today -- just claim the topic and demonstrate you have already started your research.)

You have already written several poems for this class. In a single word-processor file to be uploaded to, compile a selection of works that demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned about prosody, meter, language, and "showing." Call to my attention any specific effects you strove to achive.

You may include one poem that you consider "finished" -- that is, something that you wrote before this class, and something you aren't interested in revising. (Please mark that poem as such so I can respond to it appropriately.)

I'm not requiring you to wrote up a formal analysis of each poem you submit, but if you want to call attention to something you wrote, or a theme that defines your portfolio, please write a short statement.

You may arrange your portfolio to highlight your growth as a poet, or your ongoing struggles with a particular aspect of poetic form.

You are welcome to post your portfolio on your blog, but it's not required.

OED stands for "Oxford English Dictionary." It's a huge dictionary that took decades to complete; it records the meaning of words as they change over time, and includes quotes from published sources that actually use those words.

Urban Dictionary is full of new words, some of which are destined to become everyday words in the English language, but most of which are not. Contributors to the Urban Dictionary seem to enjoy using the most vulgar examples they can think of.

For this assignment, find 3-5 words in Urban Dictionary, and for each word, find a use online (not just in the Urban Dictionary) where that word is actually used online. Write a brief agenda item about each word, just as you write about words in our Hamilton book.

Just because a word is in Urban Dictionary does not mean that you'll find a "real" instance of that use online, or that the definition given on Urban Dictionary matches the use you find online.



Someone or something that is both intelligent and attractive.

Example: A from a comment posted by JAMESWalker to the blog Mountain Power Lineman: Better a Nerd, than a Fool

"And we can all thank the ultimate dork of the family: our proud father, Mr. Stephen Walker. He carries on the great tradition of dorkery through his blog,, by posting his nerdelicious recipes and discussing such topics as traffic, cheese, and Got Milk? commercials."

Thanks, Dad. I love you and your nerdiness. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I chose the this term because it suggests nerd pride -- that the special qualities that make somewhat obsessive, socially awkward, but talented people have benefits in the modern world that may not be apparent to the beautiful and popular people who still have VCRs that are blinking 12:00.

Write ten-beat lines of verse, like Shakespeare wrote.

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