PRL Employment data

Monday round-up

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Benimoto

Hi everyone. Here’s a quick round-up of what we’ll be doing this week:

  • BUS 100-01: Tuesday we’ll form teams and look at business and the environment in which it operates. Thursday we’ll look at economics.
  • BUS 100-80: I’ll be posting about economics later today, and Wednesday I’ll post about global trade. Be sure to keep up with Coursemate and your own blogging.
  • BUS 263-01: Tuesday we’ll form teams and look at law and legal reasoning. Thursday we’ll have a look at court systems in the US.
  • BUS 263-80: On Wednesday I’ll post about law and legal reasoning and court systems. Be sure to keep up with the chapter quizzes and your own blogging.
  • PRL 101: Tuesday we’ll form teams and look at the paralegal profession. Thursday we’ll start learning about legal research.

Still not obsolete after 450 years

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by Rufus Gefangenen

Even though they’ve been around since the 1500s, it may still be too soon to give up pencils and handwritten notes.

Students who take notes on a laptop may take more notes than those who write by hand, but more isn’t always better:

 New research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer demonstrates that students who write out their notes on paper actually learn more.  . . .  As in other studies, students who used laptops took more notes.  In each study, however, those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.

There’s much more at the linked article, and the result looks pretty robust after several different studies. I don’t have any policy against laptops in the classroom (and don’t plan to, either), but you might want to consider whether your laptop is really helping you.


creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by WaywardShinobi

Welcome to the fall semester of 2014 everyone. I’m back in the office, and classes start Wednesday, August 20. The links in the header above will take you to the pages for the courses I’m teaching, where you’ll find information about each course. I’ll post syllabi there as I put the last finishing touches on them, and links to Blackboard for those of you taking inline sections.

Have a good semester, and I’ll see you soon!

Film Evaluation Examples

Several of you have asked about examples of movie evaluations. The purpose of a this assignment is to answer the question, “is this movie worth seeing?” If so, why? If not, why not? Be sure to include a Work Cited section with publication details of your film following MLA format. (Hint: if you don’t know all the publication information about your film, such as year and studio, the Internet Movie Database [IMDb] can probably help you out.) See sample Work Cited section at the bottom of this page. Don’t worry about putting your Work Cited entry on a separate page; just put it immediately after the end of your last paragraph.

For examples of published movie reviews, see Roger Ebert‘s reviews of Rango by Gore Verbinski and The Last Airbender by M. Night Shyamalan. In a slightly different vein, also check out Chris Sims’ review of the opening sequence from Batman: The Animated Series:

With all the episodes of Batman: The Animated Series that I was watching in order to put together ComicsAlliance’s list of the ten best episodes, I kept seeing that opening sequence over and over. And rather than getting bored with it or skipping ahead, I kept watching it and fixating on just how unbelievably good it is — not just in terms of beautiful animation, but in the sheer storytelling economy of being a perfect introduction to Batman. And when I say it’s the perfect introduction, that’s what I mean.

And here’s the opening sequence for your convenience:

Works Cited

Batman: The Animated Series. Warner Brothers, 1992. Television.

Ebert, Roger. “The Last Airbender Movie Review.” RogerEbert. n.p., 30 June 2010. Web. 9 December 2013.

Ebert, Roger. “Rango Movie Review.” RogerEbert. n.p., 2 March 2011. Web. 9 December 2013.

The Last Airbender. Dir. M. Night Shyamalan. Paramount, 2010. Film.

Rango. Dir. Gore Verbinski. Paramount, 2011. Film.

Sims, Chris. “Ask Chris #78: Why The ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Opening Is The Best Thing Ever.” ComicsAlliance. n.p., 4 November 2011. Web. 9 December 2013.

Product design and promotion: Taco Bell breakfast menu


This week we’re looking at marketing and product design. Last week Taco Bell introduced a new breakfast menu. Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer Chris Brandt described their product strategy by saying

The breakfast sandwich hasn’t changed 40 years, and we think this breaks that paradigm.

Have you seen Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu? What challenges does Taco Bell face breaking into the already-crowded fast-food breakfast market? Is this brand extension consistent with Taco Bell’s image?

How about Taco Bell’s ad campaign? Is this an effective promotional message? (Hint: try to count how many times they mention the name of their competitor in 50 seconds):

Annotated bibliography examples

cc licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by librarian*t
Here are two examples of annotated bibliography first drafts. Note that both require further editing and proofreading. The first covers Kudzu Bugs includes all the entries alphabetically in a single group, rather than subdividing them into topics. The second covers Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson and is divided into two category: works by Stefansson and works about Stefansson.

Zotero tutorials

Thanks to KellyAnn Griffiths of Shelton State Libraries, here are a series of tutorials on installing and using Zotero.

Installing Firefox Portable:

Installing the Zotero add-on to Firefox Portable:

Configuring Zotero:

Adding MLA Annotated Bibliography style to Zotero:

Using Zotero to organize and format sources:

You can find these tutorials and more on the Shelton State Library’s tutorial page.