Weekly Comments and Discussion Questions

Posting Your Weekly Comment

Due every Monday morning at 10:00am is a comment between 100-200 words on the online version of that week’s reading.

In order to post your comment, you will be using Hypothes.is, which is already installed on our course website. Hypothesis is a digital annotation tool that allows you to “annotate” (or highlight and make comments) on any web page, including PDFs, where the tool is embedded. I’ve already added the tool to specific course readings on our course website. When you open those course readings, you’ll notice a sidebar that pops up on the right side, and expands when you click the arrow at the top. When you highlight something with your cursor, you’ll also notice a little button that pops up (with options to “Annotate” or “Highlight”). That sidebar and button together are the hypothesis application. If for some reason the sidebar isn’t popping up, copy this prefix, and paste it in front of the page URL: https://via.hypothes.is/

First, in order to use Hypothes.is to make a comment, you need to register and create a username on the Hypothesis website. Make sure your username incorporates your actual name in some way (first or last name), so I can give you credit for your annotations.

Second, you need to navigate over to the PDF of our reading to make a comment. In order to comment, all you have to do is highlight (with your mouse) the relevant selection of text. Then, a little toolbar will pop up above the selection, where you should be able to click “Annotate”. Then, the sidebar will expand, and you’ll be prompted to type into a textbox. After you’re done typing your answer, press “Post to Public” (making sure that the sidebar at the top says “Public”, not “Private” so I can see your work).

Your comment might do any of the following: 

  • In your comment, identify a literary device from the text selection, and explain how the device enhances a certain quality about the person or idea that is being described, or relates to a course theme. 
  • In your comment, pinpoint a theme or recurring idea from the text. How does the text selection elaborate or complicate the theme? 
  • Use your comment as a space to work toward crafting a discussion question about the text selection. Think of a question that would provoke discussion and even debate among your peers. 
  • Instead of creating your own comment, you can respond to someone else, and use that opportunity to offer your own thoughts or extend the conversation. You can use their as a jumping off point for your own ideas, or present another point of view on the topic.

Writing Your Weekly Discussion Question

Each week, you will come to your small Discussion Group having crafted one Discussion Question based on the weekly reading.

In crafting your discussion question, try to focus on what sticks with you the most, either because you love it, hate it, or are confused by it. You might use this as an opportunity to probe a character, event or theme that you find compelling in the chapter, maybe relating it to something else we read from class . Or you might simply pick out a quote that interests or confuses you, and indicate why. Whatever you decide to do, frame your question in a way that provokes discussion and even debate among your peers.

Here are some sample questions based on the Diaz reading:

  • What is Yunior’s motive for saying things like “I’m not a bad guy”?
  • How does the concept of machismo change from Anzaldua to Diaz?
  • To what extent are the women in the stories fully realized or portrayed?
  • Do we think Yunior is a victim or is he responsible for his actions?
  • How can we approach Yunior’s character through the lense of “disidentification,” thinking back to Munoz?

Write down your discussion question on your group notes at the beginning of each meeting. Then, your group can decide or vote on which ones you want to answer during that meeting.