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            Introductory College Writing: Course Syllabus
                                     LANG: 112 a
                             Eastern Mennonite University
                                         Spring 2009

Introductory College Writing
Name: Vi Dutcher
Office: CC 342
Hours: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. MW & by appointment
Telephone: 540.432.4316
 E-mail:violet.dutcher@emu.edu
Class session: CC 234 MWF 1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
In this course, you will explore, closely examine, and reflect upon what it means to cross cultures, including
your transition to EMU for which you will receive support in this course. This is a course for inexperienced
writers who need to improve their writing skills before entering the required freshman College Writing
course. The central aim of this course is promoting the development of writing skills that goes hand in hand
with the development of thinking skills. This entails using critical reading skills and practicing a range of
writing that focuses on a topic, on developing and organizing relevant ideas for the topic, and on using
sophisticated sentence structure with a degree of accuracy that allows the presentation of clear ideas.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Introductory College Writing is a course of writing activities that is organized as a workshop where you will
        ●      compose grammatically and mechanically sound papers that reflect the conventions of
                       standard English.
        ●      write and respond to writing.
        ●      revise your writing with care and thoroughness.
        ●      grow as a writer and as a thinker.
        ●      learn writing by writing in various forms (which are also ways of seeing and thinking)
                       to a real audience and with lots of feedback from diverse readers.
        ●      write well-structured essays that include: a clear and effective introduction and thesis
                       statement, body paragraphs which contain a clear topic sentence, adequate
                       explanation with convincing support, and effective conclusions
        ●      gain the ability to give responses to the writing of your classmates and to get their
                       responses to your own writing (both in this class and in other class writing
               assignments), an essential part of the activity and process of writing.

Learning to write well takes time and practice. The more you experience the pleasure that comes from
listening, reading, writing, and talking to others, the better you will become at these skills. Thus, we
welcome you to this course. We also welcome you to our offices to discuss any learning needs or writing
anxieties you may have.

At the end of the semester, you will examine and re-vision the work produced over the previous weeks by re-
approaching, re-thinking, revising three papers of your choice for course assessment. These papers will
culminate in a portfolio which includes papers that integrate materials from several texts having to do with
crossing cultures for the purpose of, ultimately, locating yourself in the context of our global, secular world.
The final grade for this course will be calculated based on both the individual papers you revise and on the
body of work (3 papers) collected in the portfolio.
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SUPPLIES:
1.   Folder or notebook to hold all work from the semester—bring to each class session.
2.   Notebook paper (white, 8 ½‖ x 11‖ lined paper, free of ragged edges)
3.   Composition notebook (given in class); bring to class each session.

REQUIRED TEXTS:
Hirschberg, S., & Hirschberg, T. (2009). 7th ed. One world, many cultures. New York: Longman.
Lunsford, A. (2005). The everyday writer. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin‘s. (given in class)
Access to dictionary: Oxford English Dictionary (OED) link on Sadie Hartzler Library website
Selected articles distributed in class.

YEAR1 WEBSITE: www.emu.edu/year1
The year1 website is a resource for first-year students. You will find announcements, assignments, and
events specific to this course. You also will find helpful information about campus resources, faith, and
community. There are video clips of EMU students sharing advice and experiences. You might wish to
bookmark this page in your Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox works best), as you will view it regularly.

WRITING REQUIREMENTS:

1. Two scheduled conferences, one in my office and one in the classroom—see calendar for specific dates;
   additional conferences are strongly advised.
2. Quizzes may be given periodically and are unannounced at the beginning of class; they cannot be made
   up.
3. Group work is frequent, and participation is required.
4. Regular attendance and participation in the class discussion.
5. Seven (7) papers: You may choose three of these seven papers to make up your portfolio at the
   end of the semester. IMPORTANT NOTE: You will continue to revise a paper several times
   before the portfolio is due.
6. Revised papers are required at the initial due date and, consequently, for the portfolio.

WRITING GRADE:

Out of class writing and Portfolio–60%
Homework, in-class writing assignments—20%
Class participation and attendance – 20%
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POLICIES:

1.    All papers must be typed in an academic format and handed directly to the instructor on the
      informed due date. Late papers are not accepted.
2.    The use of cellular phones, pagers, and other things that make noise is not permitted in class.
3.    Attendance: Your attendance is of utmost importance since this course requires and places
      particular significance upon class participation. Due to the nature of this course, its pace and format,
      attendance is mandatory. As your instructor, I will come to class prepared. I expect you to do the
      same.
4.    Unexcused absences: Missing writing class sessions equal to one week of classes (3) is allowed
      without penalty. Four unexcused absences may result in a lowered grade. Eight unexcused absences
      may result in an F for the course. Use unexcused absences for transportation problems, court
      appointments, day care glitches, short illnesses, appointments, etc.
5.    Excused absences: Writing class absences will be excused only with written proof of medical,
      emergencies, death in the family, or participation in an approved university activity which prevents
      attendance on the day in question. The written verification of absence must be provided by another
      person as witness or authority and presented to the instructor prior to the absence.
6.    Lateness is strongly discouraged and is disruptive to the class session. Two unexcused tardies equal
      1 absence, and over 10 minutes tardy is recorded as absent.
7.    Academic Honesty: EMU defines plagiarism as occurring when a person presents as one‘s own
      someone else‘s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without
      acknowledging its source (adapted from the Council of Writing Program Administrators).
8.    Students with Disabilities: Eastern Mennonite University recognizes its responsibility for creating
      an institutional atmosphere in which students with disabilities can succeed. Students who have not
      yet registered their documented disabilities should do so immediately in the SDSS office located on
      the 3rd floor in the Sadie Hartzler Library. When you have done so, please make an appointment to
      see me.
9.    In this course, students are required to attend one writing session, per paper assigned, with a tutor
      in the writing lab located in the Academic Support Center on the 3rd floor in the Sadie Hartzler
      Library. This attendance is mandatory. Additional sessions are strongly encouraged and may be
      required by the instructor.
10.   Since this course is conducted in workshop format, student writing is considered
      part of the public domain and may be used anonymously for teaching purposes. Please notify me if
      any of your writing contains writing of a personal nature that you do not wish duplicated or read
      aloud.
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                                   COURSE OUTLINE: LANG 112a

During this course, discussions concerning reading/writing/thinking strategies will be discussed within the
context of each week‘s focus. Elements of grammar will be discussed weekly. In-class writing, whether or
not mentioned below, will occur weekly.

Bring The Everyday Writer, Composition notebook, and writing folder to every College Writing class
       session.

Week 1
1/05—Course introduction; Writing process discussion; Brainstorming and free-writing practice
1/07— Read ―Learning from Common Errors,‖ pp. 3-22 in The Everyday Writer; Questionnaire due;
In-class essay—Paper One; Bring EMU Academic Planner & Student Handbook to class
1/09

Week 2
1/12—Review pp. 3-22 in The Everyday Writer (the writing handbook); Read ―The Letter ‗A‘‖ by Christy
Brown, pp. 113-119; bring photograph; Reading strategies; In-class writing; Paper Two assigned (how are
you defined?)
1/14—Faculty panel
1/16—Read ―You‘re Short, Besides!‖ by Sucheng Chan, pp. 96-103; Journal entry due

Week 3
1/19—Peer review—Paper Two; Student paper session
1/21—Paper Two due; Paper Three assigned; Reading strategies; In-class writing
1/23—Reading journals; Writing workshop; Writing assignment from another class

Week 4
1/26—Peer Review—Paper Three; Student paper session; Emphasis on Re-vision
1/28—Paper Three due; Read Adler‘s ―How to Mark a Book‖ (handout) & Scudder‘s ―Take This Fish and
Look at It‖ (handout); Reading strategies; In-class writing
1/30—Grammar Workshop

Week 5
2/02—Student Conferences
2/04—Student Conferences
2/06—Student Conferences

Week 6
2/09—Read ―What True Education Should Do‖ by Sidney J. Harris (handout); Reading strategies; In class
writing; Paper Four assigned
2/11—Peer Review—Paper Four; Student paper session
2/13—Grammar Workshop

Week 7
2/16—Paper Four due; Read ―Désiréé‘s Baby‖ by Kate Chopin, pp. 312-317; Journal entry due; Paper Five
assigned
2/18—Peer Review—Paper Five; Student paper session
2/20—Grammar workshop
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Week 8
2/23—Paper Five due; Read ―The First Day of School‖ by Cynthia Ozick (handout); Reading strategies;
Journal entry due; Paper Six assigned—observation
2/25—Peer Review—Paper Six; Student paper session
2/27—Grammar Workshop; Writing assignment for another class

MID-SEMESTER BREAK

Week 9
3/09—Paper Six due; Read ―A Look Behind the Veil‖ by Elizabeth W. Fernea and Robert A. Fernea, pp.
185-193; Reading strategies
3/11—In-class writing
3/13—Student paper Workshop

Week 10
3/16—Read ― Assign Paper Seven
3/18—Library workshop
3/20—Definition workshop/OED

Week 11
3/23—Workshop for Paper Seven
3/25—Movie?
3/27—Paper Seven due; Grammar workshop; Writing assignment for another class

Week 12
3/30—Small group student conferences in the classroom; Discussion of portfolio
4/01—Small group student conferences in the classroom; Discussion of portfolio
4/03—Controlling idea Workshop: Portfolio papers as text

Week 13
4/06—Paragraph strategy workshop: Portfolio papers as text
4/08—Sentence strategy workshop: Portfolio papers as text
4/10—NO CLASS—EASTER RECESS

Week 14
4/13—NO CLASS—EASTER BREAK
4/15—Begin in-class writing of reflective essay for portfolio
4/17—Continue in-class writing of reflective essay for portfolio

Week 15
4/20—Finish in-class writing of reflective essay for portfolio
4/23 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. We will meet at 1:30 p.m. to write an in-class essay.
The final portfolio is due at the beginning of this session.

								
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