Scott Kapuscinski

  • Freud “Jokes and their Relationship to the Unconscious”

    John Morreal “Taking Laughter Seriously”

    Morreal “The Social Value of Humor”

    Gordon Harvey “Elements of Academic Writing”

    Mark Twain’s Advice […]

  • College Writing 110: Comedy, Satire, and Persuasion


    Scott Kapuscinski                                                                                      […]

  • Find additional resources for the course here:

    “Notes on Nationalism” (Full essay) by Orwell

    Newman’s “Intertextuality, Power, and Danger in Waiting for the Barbarians”

    Ashcroft’s “Irony Allegory and […]

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  • Do not delete this page. Page content is generated with a custom template.

  • Do not delete this page. Page content is generated with a custom template.

  • Do not delete this page. Page content is generated with a custom template.

  • Do not delete this page. Page content is generated with a custom template.

  • Do not delete this page. Page content is generated with a custom template.

  • Freud “Jokes and their Relationship to the Unconscious”

    John Morreal “Taking Laughter Seriously”

    Morreal “The Social Value of Humor”

    Gordon Harvey “Elements of Academic Writing”

    Mark Twain’s Advice […]

  • Post your response to the following prompt below:

    Choose a passage from your rough draft and pair it with one of the author’s we’ve read this semester. In your comparison identify one key similarity and one […]

    • I would compare my writing to Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” as I consider my paper to also be a critical piece of writing much like “The Death of the Author” is. Where I diverge from Barthes is that my writing is not literary criticism but is still criticism nonetheless. Barthes in his writing is impassioned to explain how the author’s interpretation of their work is not superior to the reader’s interpretation. In my paper “The Danger of Smartphones” I hope to explain as impassionedly as Barthes did his argument my own argument about how smartphones can be a negative influence on people’s lives. Moreover, like Barthes I value the interpretation of the reader over the author’s interpretation of their work. That’s why in my paper I challenge the meaning of some of the evidence I used and instead give my own interpretation that is contrary to what the author of the evidence intended. For example, I include evidence in my paper about how the “Night Shift” mode Apple has updated the iPhone with is beneficial and has a positive impact on users. While the author of the evidence I use portrays “Night Shift” as a benefit I instead dismantle that interpretation and point out the flaws of “Night Shift” and how it really is not beneficial at all. Here is the excerpt from my paper:

      “The “Night Shift” feature works by reducing the “blue light” produced by iPhone displays because “blue light” leads to a loss of melatonin production which makes it much harder for someone to fall asleep at night (Gould and Loria). On the surface it seems like a good feature that Apple is providing and that they have the best interests of their consumers at heart but I disagree. The ideal solution is to simply not use your phone while lying in bed at night. Apple with their “Night Shift” feature is encouraging people to use their phones at night in bed and justifying their screen use when they should be sleeping.”

      I acknowledge in my writing that while the reduction of “blue light” is a benefit to the user I still challenge the idea that the feature itself is beneficial at all. My argument is that using a smartphone while in bed and prior to sleeping is simply something that should be avoided and by Apple providing a feature that encourages smartphone use before bed they are not helping their users they are hurting them. Thus, I am using my own interpretation of other people’s writing as a reader like Barthes encourages in order to further my own argument.

    • I chose to compare my final paper with “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. My paper along with this piece is a history paper. Both structured similarly in that sense. The major difference, of course, is the topic. Howard Zinn’s discussion is by every means more important, severe, and serious. I’m not trying to argue that, mostly any history-based document would have worked in this comparison. In any of these cases, it would be strange to compare any of the documents to a popular franchise.

      “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

      “There is not a country in world history in which racism has been more important, for so long a time, as the United States.”

      Compared to my final paper:

      “This powerhouse quickly became a household name across the globe, sparking a quickly spreading wildfire from this simple idea. Of course, like anything that has any sort of impact on our world started as a simple idea.”

    • I think that my rough draft for my research essay most reflects the “Background info on the Scopes Trial.” Although my essay is mostly factual based, it is most like the Wikipedia page due to the information and research involved in both. My essay and the article both have facts that talk about the subject at hand. At times my paper and the “Background info on the Scopes Trial” might seem dense and boring because it regurgitates evidence.
      Something that both my essay and the Wikipedia page have in common are the details in the claims and the facts. We both did not just state a statistic or something that had happened and wrote it down, but we went into detail about it to make it more understandable; which may seem why its dense.
      Something that was different between the two works were that my research essay was more broad while the Wikipedia page was more specific and focused on just the actual topic.

    • I am going to compare my second paper to “Culture and Imperialism” by Edward Said. One of the concepts in “Culture and Imperialism” by Edward Said is that authors tend to have a message/ meaning behind their texts that are showcased as stories. I think that idea connects to my second paper. My paper is an autobiography that tells a story about what led me to getting the gastric bypass surgery and how my life changed after getting the surgery. However, there is a deeper message behind my autobiography, in fact, it has multiple messages. One of the messages being that one should do what is right for them and not let anyone get in the way of his or her happiness. As for a difference between my paper and Edward Said’s “Culture and Imperialism”, it would be that my paper is an autobiography.

    • I feel like My second paper is something that resembles the reading we did on 80 books no woman should read. i say this because of the opinionated yet informative tone that is in that article i feel is carried out throughout most of my paper. At first I didn’t feel my paper resembled any of the readings because i felt it was not different but just way to simple to be so creative in the non fiction field. Like 80 books my paper tells the does and dont’s of dealing with divorce. It states the facts and reasons behind choices and opens the door for those who have not yet experienced or read on the topic discussed to want to create their own opinions. Divorce and children are topics that are capable of creating a conversation that could be had for a long time similar to a horrible book that offends a specific gender.

  • Hi everyone,

    Per the syllabus, this week is about Old and New writing. I’m going to include an example of my own. It’s from Henry David Thoreau called “Civil Disobedience,” and its relevance hasn’t diminished […]

    • In terms of “old” nonfiction writing that I have read, (it’s sort of a limited list) but I have chosen “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I read this when I was really young and will never forget it. (I can bring it to class tomorrow)

      For my “new” nonfiction, I read great newspaper articles all the time- But there’s one piece I ready from New York Times Magazine that I really loved. “In the Shadow of a Fairy Tale” by Leslie Jamison.

    • In terms of nonfiction writing that was written over thirty years ago, there aren’t a lot of works that capture what I feel is most important in nonfiction writing ( actually I can’t think of too many and I can’t say that I have read a lot). However, I would choose a novel that is on the border of fiction and nonfiction and it is called David Copperfield written by Charles Dickens. It is semiautobiographical and I hope that it is a valid example since I find that many issues the novel addresses apply to the modern world today as well. Also because it is detailed, it made me believe that these events must have some truth in them and that the writer must have written from someone else’s experiences, if not completely his own.

    • An old nonfiction writing that I vaguely remember reading was called In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and I read this sometime in high school. I thought it was very significant because it was based off a true story and it was the author writing about a crime that involved the murder of a family. It’s his experience talking with the investigators and some cops about the brutal crime. H talked about the murderers and their psychosis. And I honestly thought it was very important because usually this would be like fictional work but instead it’s the authors own personal investigation.

    • I chose the article “Men Walk On Moon” by John Noble Wilford originally published on July 21 1969.

      It can be found here:

    • The old non-fiction writing I chose is “Black Boy” by Richard Wright. This piece is a memoir written in the 1940s about Wright’s childhood in the South as well as moving to the North. Throughout the memoir, Wright experiences racism due to the Jim Crow laws. I chose this work because towards the end of “Black Boy”, Wright explains that he wants to use his writing to start a revolution and change the world. Non-fiction writing as well as other works of literature have the strong ability to move and change people.

    • The text I chose is Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

    • Although I am posting this after class, I thought late is better than never.
      Below is a pdf link to the old non-fiction book I chose. It is Hiroshima by John Hersey.
      To me it sounds like Hersey wrote the book in a way to make the reader seem haunted/scared by the six survivors’ interactions with the bombing.

    • The old text that I chose is The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi. I read this book in Korean when I was in korea. This was published in 1927. We can learn so many life lessons from this book. We can see Gandhi’s political perspective and how he sacrifice for the Indian people and by doing those actions he showed to the world that can solve the political issues with out violence.
      The new text that I chose is “Hidden figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly. I read the book and watches the movie as well and I felt like it has to be written by everyone. We can see two of the biggest problem in this world which is racism towards black and sexual discrimination. Because the protagonist in this book was a black woman who had both of the disadvantage at that time and the protagonist proves herself that colored and woman can be inferior to other races or gender.

    • I provided a link to Alice S. Rossi’s “Job Discrimination and What Women Can Do About It,” which was published in March of 1970.

  • Head on over to “class readings” to find the research guide for your final paper.


    Happy hunting!

  • Congratulations to everyone on a job well-done! Now tell me what you really think 🙂

    • I felt everyone who presented did a great job discussing their topics and everyone seemed so calm to talk in front of the class. From expirence, I know how hard it is to talk in front of a group of people and to portray an idea and topic to others. I especially liked the travel nonfiction group. I also never realized there are so many planes that fly close overhead during our class, drowning out some of the speakers by the roaring planes. This project helped with understanding more genres, some of which I haven’t heard of before. Then seeing how a lot of the genres are parallel and coexist with each other.

    • I believe that all the presentations were good and I am also surprised by how many people use google slides, although that is not important. I like how each group used concrete examples to represent their topic and in detail as well. I liked how the memoir writing group focused on war memoirs as I thought that memoirs were always centered around positive events. I Was also able to relate well with the group that presented argumentative essays since i recently learned about ethos pathos and logos. I believe that these presentations were helpful in preparing us to be more comfortable in talking in front of a crowd.

    • From all the groups presentations I’ve learned valuable information about the writing process involved with non-fiction. What I considered to be the greatest takeaway were the ethical challenges that were raised by each group in regards to writing non-fiction. Take Group 4 and travel writing for instance. They covered how travel writing can often be biased as a result of the commercialization of the field due to sponsors paying travellers to write about their travels to places they were paid to go to. It is relevant to raise this point as even though travel writers who receive sponsorships may claim to attempt to remain unbiased they do have a vested interest in to continuing to receive sponsorships to travel and it is very unlikely that those sponsorships would continue if they were to write negatively about their experiences to where they were paid to go. Group 1 also discussed the ethical issues related to their field of memoirs. They brought up the biases that writers may have which can especially be problematic in the war memoirs they focused on.

      Another issue that was raised by Group 4 is how exaggeration can often be an unfortunate factor of travel writing. For example one’s experiences documented in travel writing can often be romanticized and not an accurate representation of the reality that the writer actually experienced. Often this tactic is used as a way to enhance what otherwise would have been mundane and minute encounters. An issue that was raised by both Group 1 and Group 4 is how dialogue in non-fiction writing may not be entirely remembered word for word but in an account it may be presented as so which calls in to question the authenticity of the dialogue. It is unfortunate that “fiction” is being introduced in to writing that should be considered non-fiction and as writers of non-fiction it is our imperative to ensure what we’re writing is truly non-fiction.

    • From the presentation on travel writing I was surprised as to how much could be said about it. I didn’t know that some poems and video documentation could fall under the category. It was nice to know specifically what things fell under that category. Everyone worked well with one another and their presentation went smoothly.

      I already knew what memoirs were but the presentation on them helped specify what makes a piece of writing a memoir. I also never thought about how memoirs could be biased. It makes you wonder how much truth is being said in them.

      The presentation on observational writing helped differentiate that sort of writing with memoirs. Since both have to do with memories it could be difficult to differentiate the two but compared to a memoir it is much more objective and tries to be as detailed as what was seen by the writing than reflecting like in a memoir.

    • I thought all the presentations were interesting to watch. I learned that travel writing now are different from what they use to be in the past. Travel writing back then was about the person’s experience there. Nowadays, people have travel blogs and vlogs (video logs) that still include their personal experiences, but also includes tips on affordable places to stay and eat. Travel writing now is about affordable places to stay, eat and where to visit from what I have seen. Transportation and technology also plays a role in how travel writing is different now from what they use to be.

    • I think every person did an excellent job! You guys were well prepared, calm and used their time properly and efficiently to explain their topic. Since everyone did good job, I don’t think none of the groups need to add more information nor delete any information.
      Among those groups, what I really liked was the travel writing group’s presentation. The power point was very well organized and very well decorated with the video. It was very clever to put the videos on the power point and those videos were helped a lot to show the good examples of the travel nonfiction. Since I know the Eddie Huang before, it helped me to get the idea of the person who was doing the presentation.

    • I enjoyed every presentation. All the presentations were interesting and informative. I felt like everyone did a great job with their topic. The topic that grabbed my attention the most was the one about memoirs. It got me thinking how much information that is provided in memoirs is factual. I learned something new from each presentation.

  • Hi class,

    The blog post for this week says to comment on the presentations and they haven’t happened yet. This is my oversight, so no makeup blog post this week. I should’ve double checked that (and a few other […]

    • When I read anything I try not to have a rigid view that there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to interpret it. I still maintain my own interpretations of the works I read but I do not believe that my own interpretations are the only “correct” ones. My opinion on what constitutes a “correct” interpretation has not been changed by Barthes as I do not believe that writing is so simple that there can only be one “correct” interpretation that can be made. I do believe Barthes makes a compelling argument that how the author intended their writing to be interpreted does not make the reader’s own interpretation irrelevant or supersede it. I still appreciate knowing the authors intentions behind their writing as I believe knowing the origins and thought processes that went in to a text can enhance my appreciation of it. Even so, I never considered an author’s interpretation to be the sole authority of a text as to do so would disregard my own interpretation if it were to conflict with the author’s interpretation. I still can’t disregard contrary interpretations to my own either as that would imply that only my interpretation is the “correct” one which I do not believe as my interpretation is merely my own opinion and something as objective as “correct” cannot be applied to an opinion.

      Having wrote all this there is no example of writing I can provide where I believed there was only one “correct” way to interpret it as I do not believe that interpretations of writing can ever be that simple. However, I can share an example of writing in which my own personal interpretation has changed. When I first read, “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, I really did not consider the importance of Roderick and his sister being twins until this short story was discussed in a class of mine. In this class the concept of “doubles” was explained and afterwards having reread the story I now see how important the concept of “doubles” is to the story. Specifically after learning how the “double” can be used to represent death I now see how this ties in to Roderick dying shortly after discovering his dead twin sister, how this event was essentially a “mirror” of Roderick’s fate.

    • Is there one interpretation of anything I think not. Do I think a text is written with a specific meaning and purpose? yes. I think we confuse the differences of interpretation with literal meaning. An interpretation is not for the author but it is for the readers/views. The author of a text is exactly that an author the person who wrote it who created the vision for us to see, but we the readers do not have to see the vision the same way it was laid out for us to see. It is like two people speaking to one another the receiver may hear an angry tone but that was not its original intent at all. I’ve never believed that things we’re set in stone that the way it is suppose to be interpreted was the only way. The reason being is because that would mean that opinion would not matter let alone exist.

    • Pieces of writings do not have only one “right” way of being interpreted. Everyone goes through different experiences in life and understand situations different thus creating different interpretations. For example, one’s environment heavily impacts their personality and causes people to have a different mindset. Therefore, there will always be different interpretations for the same piece of writing. I used to think that poems could only be interpreted in one right way. One example of a poem that I thought there was only one interpretation of was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. However, reading Alyson’s explanation in the previous blog post showed how poems are seen different based on what the person is going through as well as their perspective in life. Additionally, I am also in a poetry class which has showed me how what one interprets as the meaning of the poem may not be the meaning that the author intended. However, that does not invalidate the meaning of the poem because it is just a different interpretation. In fact, the poem might even be better as it can relate to different people in different ways. Having an interpretation that is different from another persons shows how no one person is the same and different experiences will create a person. As long as someone as a valid reasoning for interpreting a piece of writing in a certain way, I think it is a valid interpretation. After reading Barthes, I agree that there are several ways to read different pieces of literature.

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