Week-by-Week Class Plan for WRT 563: Nonfiction Writing: Theory and Practice

WRT 563: Nonfiction Writing: Theory and Practice
Section E1, Course #2255, The College of Saint Rose
Fall 2014, Thursdays 6:15pm-8:55pm, Albertus 301
Daniel Nester, Instructor
E-mail: daniel [dot] nester [at] strose [dot] edu
Phone: 518-454-2812
Website: http://danielnester.com
Teaching Blog: http://nestersteachingblog.com
Office: Dolan Hall, 442 Western Avenue, First Floor #1
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00pm-4:00pm and by appointment

Under construction now, and updated often during course of semester.

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Filed under Syllabi and Class Plans, WRT 563: Creative Nonfiction

Week-by-Week Class Plan for English 105: Expository Writing, Oral Communication, and Research

English 105: Expository Writing, Oral Communication, and Research
Section E5, Course #1509, The College of Saint Rose
Fall 2014, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:15-6:00pm, Albertus Hall 112
Daniel Nester, Associate Professor of English, Instructor
E-mail: daniel [dot] nester [at] strose [dot] edu
Phone: 518-454-2812
Teaching Blog: http://nestersteachingblog.com
Office: Dolan Hall, 442 Western Avenue, First Floor #1
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursdays 3-4pm and by appointment

[under construction]

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Filed under English105Fall2014

Essay Title Conventions: Some Ideas

The list below reflects some classic essay-naming tropes. Fill in the blank with your own, specific object, term, or idea, and you might end up with a title for your essay.

Against ___________

What We Talk About When We Talk About ___________

On Being a ___________

I Was a Teenage ___________

___________ and Me

Notes On ___________

Death of a ___________

Confessions of a ___________

Variations on ___________

A Few Words About ___________

Consider the ___________

The ___________ Variations

___________: An Essay

___________: Some Thoughts

Some Notes on ___________

Field Notes on ___________

Meditations on ___________

The Art of ___________

The World According to ___________

___________: A Look Back

The Rules of ___________


You might get some ideas here.



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Filed under The Essay, Writing Prompts

Handing in Work, Naming Files (All-Online Class)

1. All work is to be emailed by the deadline directly to your instructor (that’s me). You must send your work in from your Saint Rose email address to the instructor’s email address. Any work sent from another email address will not be accepted.[1]  In face-to-face classes, students usually upload to a Dropbox folder. I require sending work over email in my online classes because I need to verify it’s really the student who is handing in work.

2. All files must be either Microsoft Word or, if you use another word processor, Rich Text Format (RTF). If you use some other word processing program, find out how to save your files as RTFs before the first assignment is handed in.

3. We also name our files and email subject lines very specifically. This is a good practice to get into for other classes as well as your post-college, professional life. Safe to say, if your instructor got 18 files names “essay 2,” it would drive him crazy! Seriously: you need adhere to the file-naming convention described here. I won’t accept your work if you don’t.

Here’s how you name your files.

Begin your file name with your last name, followed by your first, followed by the assignment’s name.


Make sure you put your Last Name first, so I can alphabetize the assignments. The Name of the Assignment is usually one agreed upon in class or one I email to you.

For example, if a student named Jane Doe sends along her first draft of her persuasive essay, and we agreed in class to call the assignment “RoughDraft1Persuasive,” Jane Doe would name her file like so:


To: nester[at]strose.edu

From: doej12345[at]stose.edy

Subject: DoeJaneRoughDraft1Persuasive

….and attach the file.



[1] The purpose of this college email-only policy is to ensure that The College of Saint Rose operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education. All credit-bearing courses and programs offered through distance education methods must verify that the student who registers for a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives academic credit. According to the HEOA, one or more of the following methods must be used:

a) An individual secure login and password issued by the College
b) Proctored examinations, and/or
c) Other technologies or practices that are effective in verifying student identification.


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Filed under Syllabus Statements

Freewriting for Your First Personal Essay

Directions: Here below is a list of writing tasks to do in advance of writing your first personal essay. Please write as much as you can but not more than is needed.

1. Write a list of your 25 favorite words. Just list them. No need for an explanation, unless you want to write one. Make a Wordle of your Facebook posts, or a Word Cloud of your Tweets.

1a. Pick one of those words and write about it: tell us the first time you remember thinking of that word as one of your favorites, or tell us a story where that word became important for you, or tell us why the word is beautiful or significant in your life. Be specific. Try to avoid general statements. Try to make it to at least 500 words.

2. Make a list of “25 random things about me.” This was a popular thing for people to write on Facebook and blogs, and it lives on in celebrity magazines. For examples, Google “25 random things about me” or just “random things about me.”

2a. Pick one of these random things—maybe it’s the one that most surprised you when you write the list, or maybe it’s the one that needs that most explanation—and write about a person, thing, or memory connected with that random thing. Try to make it at least 500 words.

3. Make a list of 10 things of which you’re a master. Include talents, skills, hobbies, qualities of character. Examples: Washing a car. Making hot salsa. Building a campfires. Getting free drinks. Writing thank you notes. Collecting old records. Procrastinating. Changing a diaper.

3a. Pick one of the things from #3 and write about a person connected with this mastery. Maybe it’s the person who taught you how to do it, someone you’ve done it for, or someone who discouraged you from doing it. Include details that capture the person’s personality or mannerisms.

Name the document LastnameFirstnameFreewrite1 and email to me by Thursday, May  22, at 11:59pm.



#3 and #3a From Sherry Simpson’s “Tiny Masters: An Artful Trick to Writing the Personal Essay”

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Filed under Writing Prompts

Internship: The Learning Contract

Learning Contract [pdf]  [Word file]

The function of the Learning Contract is to establish an agreement among the student, the internship supervisor, and the internship coordinator regarding the purposes and logistics of the student’s internship. This Learning Contract must be approved by the Internship Coordinator first, and then signed by all three parties—student, supervisor, and coordinator—before the internship can begin. Copies of this contract are distributed to all parties, and the original kept in the English Department’s files. Attach additional pages to answer the questions in Parts II and III.

Handing in Learning Contract: The Procedure

You cannot start putting in hours for your internship until the process of drafting, editing, and approving your Learning Contract.  To still get A-level work for this part of the class, your Learning Contract is due with all signatures at the very latest on Friday 5pm at the end of the first week of the semester. To do this, you will have had completed the following steps.

1. After you secure an internship, write up first draft of your Learning Contract. Use notes from your interview, emails with your internship supervisor, and past model Learning Contracts in our files.

2. Name the document LastnameFirstnameLearningContractDraft1 and put it in your folder. Email me that you have handed in the draft of your Learning Contract.

3. I will then  mark up and suggest changes (revising the document name accordingly, i.e., Draft2, Draft3). We revise and make changes, and send back as needed until I approve.

4. When I do approve, send to your placement supervisor. He or she may want to make changes, or they will sign.

5. Hand it in for my signature. I keep the original copy for the Department’s files, and I make copies for all three of us. You can start putting in hours.

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Filed under English 494: Internship

Students from Saint Rose English 105 Perform The Moth-Inspired Real-Life Stories

2014-05-01 14.36.37

Aidan D, “A Wing, a Prayer, and a Roll of Duct Tape”

Alyssa G, “Greyhound Stations and Online Dating”

Alyssa A, “Forgotten First Time”

Carly W, “First Death”

Daniel S, “Captain Save-A-Baby”

Erica E, “Forgive, Don’t Forget”

Eugene M, “Fight at the Soccer Field”

James O, “How to Save a ‘Life'”

Joseph B, “Playing with Someone Else’s Toys”

Karina H, “Not so ‘Fresh’man Year”

Luke K, “The Easy Way”

Mike D, “The Frost Acres Horror Story”

Olivia F, “Don’t Look Down”

Taylor H, “Taking the Brown Line Home”

Victoria S, “Behind the Wheel”

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Filed under Poetry in Performance