Post 1: Allegorizing Injustice

In a now famous article on Thoreau, Larry Buell explains that in his writing and his actions, Thoreau constantly “pitted the lily flower against the law” (“American Pastoral Ideology Reappraised”). Drawing on Thoreau’s Walden for inspiration and illustration write a 500-word post in which you write an allegory that connects a bit of local nature to a global environmental issue. First find or take a photo of a local bit of nature; next, describe that image in exacting detail; and lastly, connect your description of local nature to a global, environmental issue of your choice.

Featured Student Work

Post 2: Argument Paper W/S

Class Cancelled due to Snow: Please complete the following by midnight tomorrow in lieu of an inclass W/S.

Please respond to the following prompts on your blog as a list or as a short paragraph. The responses need to be thorough, but not polished. I want to give you the opportunity to think about your topics/claims and get some feedback.

  • What is your topic? What claim do you plan to make about that topic?
  • What pieces of evidence do you plan to use to develop the topic?
  • Make a list of at least three criteria you would use to assess the success of your article. In other words, what do you plan to do to write an article that earns an A?
Post 3: Annotation

Choose from one of the following articles and then annotate it according to the directions below: “The Trouble with Wilderness,” “Economy,” “Scenes from the Seabed,” or “Powers of the Hoard.”

  1. Cite the article according to MLA style guides and bold the citation
  2. 2-3 sentences state the main claim/thesis/goal of text
  3. 1-2 sentences pull out and define 1-2 key terms the text uses
  4. 2-3 sentences describe and analyze one key piece of evidence the text uses to make its claims
  5. 1-2 sentences evaluate the effectiveness of the text
  6. 1-2 sentences explain how you plan to use this text for your article project
Post 3: Environmental(ish) Memes

Using a tool such as memegenerator or memecreator, make at least two memes that provoke your audience to think about an environmental topic of your choice in a new and/or unexpected way. You might want to stick with the topic you used for the article and/or the topic you are using for the presentation, though you are not required to do so. All you need to do is pair an image and some text in a way that gets your point across. The words you use could be your own, or you might want to try pairing bits of text we’ve read so far this semester with unlikely images. As you generate your memes, keep in mind that sometimes a catchphrase such as “no new taxes” can be more effective than a pious essay on natural history, or a self-righteous sign telling you where to put your garbage.

Post 4: Where is Wilderness?

Go outside and take some pictures of “wilderness,” and post your two favorites to your blog. Then close read and describe the images to eventually argue why (or if) they qualify as wilderness in 300 or so words. To define the terms of your explication, rely on the definitions of “wilderness” we have seen so far by authors such as William Cronan, HD Thoreau, Jane Bennett, or David Gessner as well as elements we added to the definition of the term during our class discussion. What makes the subject of your photo “wilderness”? Can “wilderness” ever be photographed?

Post 4 : Making a Personal Badge




Through readings from early modern texts to the present and observation of the natural world, you will compose a series of multimodal blog posts in response to assigned prompts. The posts will culminate with a 500-word head note to your site home page that directs users to themes, ideas, and/or issues developed through the posts.


As always your peers and I are your primary audience, yet please also keep an ever expanding, global Internet audience in mind for this paper. What style, tone, and vocabulary choices will you have to make to suit both the audience, and the subject matter for each project? Explain quotations and images do so as if your audience has never read the texts you discuss; determine the most effect ration between audio, verbal, and visual text; and make best choice for overall ease of use.

Grading Rubric

  1. Do the posts respond to the prompt?
  2. Do the posts persuade audiences through at least one explicated in-text citation or description?
  3. Do the posts include at least one visual image that works with the text to persuade the audience of the authors’ claims?
  4. Are the posts the requisite length?
  5. Was the post submitted on or before the specified date/time?
  6. Are texts attributed correctly?
  7. Are the acceptably posts free from sentence level errors?

Final Grades: Your final grade for the entire project will depend on the average of scores you earn for each post and the final short head note on the home page. I will respond to each post via the comments feature on the WordPress page to which you post, and you will be able to view your score/grade in Blackboard.