Below is a list of resources that I will help you succeed in the course:

Active Reading and Annotation
Suggested News Sources for Supplemental Reading
Email Etiquette
Access to Course Technology
Navigating Course Technology
Writing & Citations

Active Reading and Annotation

Active reading is an important college skill that will allow you to delve deeper into your course material and help you understand and remember key concepts and ideas more deeply. Annotation of course readings is an important practice for active readers. Below are some tips to help you get started with annotating your reading and actively engage in the reading of course material.

What/How to Annotate:

General Tip: Use a pen, pencil, post-it notes, or a highlighter (although use it sparingly!). You want key ideas to stand out!

*Summarize important ideas in your own words.
*Add examples from real life, other books, TV, movies, and so forth. *Define words that are new to you.
*Mark passages that you find confusing with a ???
*Write questions that you might have for later discussion in class.
*Comment on the actions or development of characters.
*Comment on things that intrigue, impress, surprise, disturb, etc.
*Note how the author uses language. A list of possible literary devices is attached.
*Feel free to draw picture when a visual connection is appropriate
*Explain the historical context or traditions/social customs used in the passage
Methods for Annotation:

General Tip: Try to be consistent in your methods so you can easily see why something is marked the way it is. For example, maybe your yellow highlighter is always used to highlight key concepts, while your green highlighter indicate key social actors.

*If you are a person who does not like to write in a book, you may want to invest in a supply of post it notes.
*If you feel really creative, or are just super organized, you can even color code your annotations by using different color post-its, highlighters, or pens.
*Brackets: If several lines seem important, just draw a line down the margin and underline/highlight only the key phrases.
*Asterisks: Place and asterisk next to an important passage; use two if it is really important.
*Marginal Notes: Use the space in the margins to make comments, define words, ask questions, etc.
*Underline/highlight: Caution! Do not underline or highlight too much! You want to concentrate on the important elements, not entire pages (use brackets for that).
*Use circles, boxes, triangles, squiggly lines, stars, etc.

An additional resource:

Suggested News Sources for Supplemental Reading

  • The New York Times – for National, Regional and NYC news
  • The Guardian – for Global and National news
  • The Washington Post – for National and Regional news
  • The Atlantic – for news analysis and social critiques of National and Regional issues
  • CityLab. from the Atlantic – for news analysis and social critique of urban issues, developments and innovative ideas
  • The Nation – for news analysis and social critiques of National and Regional issues
  • – for NYC-based news (can filter by borough), highlights issues at the neighborhood level
  • Queens Chronicle – for Queens-based news, highlights issues at the neighborhood level
  • Gothamist – for local/NYC-based news

Fight Fake news. Know who is reputable. 

Email Etiquette

At this point in our world, email etiquette is a life long skill, and college seems like a appropriate place to develop the habit of sending clear, professional emails. Thus, I expect that when you email me, you will engage these skills.

Some specific characteristics of clear, professional emails that are important to me:

The student is easily identified both in their email address and in the email itself.
The intent of the email is clearly stated.
The student is not asking for information that they already have available to them (whether on the website or Blackboard, or found in the syllabus).
The email is free of spelling and grammar mistakes. (This is both for professional purposes AND for clarity – spelling and grammar mistakes can make the email difficult to interpret, and thus difficult to adequately respond to.)
For more information on email etiquette:

Netiquette Guidelines by the Wellesley College Project on Social Computing
How to Email a Professor: 11 Tips from Real Professors, by Scribendi

Acccess to Course Technology

Dashboard of the Course Site (where you can post to the blog):

  1. Visit and register for an account. (If you already have an account, see step 2).
  2. Sign in to Qwriting.
  3. Visit our course site.
  4. Select ‘Add me to your course’ from the right hand menu on the home page.
  5. Select ‘Access Dashboard’ from the right hand menu on the home page.

QC Google Drive

After your initial set-up, you can access the drive at later times by visiting:

 Navigating Course Technology

Please refer to this google doc for step by step information about posting to the blog, inserting images and videos, and navigating your google drive.

Writing and Citation

Queens College Writing Center is another important writing resources for Queens College students.  The QC Writing Center offers a number of different services for students including weekly standing sessions, scheduled drop-in appointments, non-scheduled walk-in appointments and online tutoring.  For more, visit their website.

Purdue Owl Writing Lab is an important resource when it comes time to cite a text.  The lab offer instructions and examples for in-text and reference-list citations in 3 different citation formats: MLA, APA and Chicago.


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