Writing 098: Strategies in Writing
Professor Dauvan Mulally Fall 2007
firstname.lastname@example.org Section 12: 12:00-1:50 p.m.
310 Lake Ontario Hall (W-331-3547) (H-863-9326) Mondays—2113 Ausable Hall
Office hours: Mondays: 2:00-4:00 p.m. Wednesdays—1163 Mackinac Hall
Wednesdays: 2:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment
Course Description: Writing 098 is a course designed for students who feel they need
extra preparation before tackling the rigors of Writing 150 and other college-level
writing courses at Grand Valley State University. WRT 098 immerses you in the writing
experience so you can gain the fluency and research skills necessary to write longer,
more engaging papers at the college level.
Course Goals: The purpose of this course is to prepare you for the various kinds of
writing required of your courses at Grand Valley State University. By the time you
leave this course, you should be able to do the following:
Become more confident about writing college-level papers
Draft and revise papers incorporating responses from your instructors, your peers,
Participate in giving and receiving feedback from within a community of writers
Find, use, and document library and Internet sources relevant to your paper topics
Write effective papers for an academic audience
To be successful in this course you are encouraged to:
Organize yourself to keep up with assignments
Attend class regularly and come prepared
Improve your writing by seeking out advice from your peers, writing center
consultants, and instructor
Take advantage of professor’s office hours
Learn to assess your own writing
Class Materials: You will need to bring to each class meeting the following:
Jump drive, binder or folder, pen and paper
Writing handbook (optional)
A writing handbook will help you correctly document sources in MLA format and
remind you of basic grammar and punctuation rules. In addition, you should visit our
class Blackboard website on a daily basis, as updates of course materials and homework
assignments will be frequently added there.
Student Responsibilities: Please take the time to carefully read the following policies.
Attending Class: Here is the writing program’s attendance policy, which this course
will adhere to: Regular attendance is required to succeed in WRT 150. According to the
GVSU catalog, "In case of excessive absences, the instructor may refuse to grant credit
for the course." The Writing Department and Composition Program have determined
that missing class or coming unprepared more than 4 times constitutes "excessive
absences." WRT 150 instructors will send students an email warning (to their GVSU
accounts) on the fourth absence. Any further absences after the warning will prohibit
the student from submitting a final portfolio for the course, thereby necessitating that
the course be retaken. Keep in mind that coming to class unprepared or refusing to
participate in class activities may count as an absence.
Participating in Class Activities: I expect students to come to class on time and
prepared to participate to the best of their abilities in whatever activity is happening
that day. In class, be ready to share your ideas and writing with your classmates,
writing center consultants, and instructor.
Maintaining Academic Integrity: All writing that you bring to class for workshopping,
show an instructor, or turn in for a grade should be your own work, written expressly
for this course. Plagiarism (submitting someone else’s work as your own or failing to
cite the ideas or words of others) is grounds for failing this course and will not be
tolerated. I will talk about plagiarism as it relates to citing research sources during the
semester, but if you have a question about what constitutes plagiarism, please make an
appointment to see me.
Staying in Touch with Your Instructor: If you are concerned about the course material,
make an appointment to see me. I am available to you during class time and office
hours and by appointment to discuss your writing, your performance in the course, and
your concerns about the course material.
Instructor Responsibilities: I’m sure that you have high expectations for your
professors, too. Here are the things you can count on from me.
Staying Available to You: My office hours are posted on this syllabus, my office door,
and the Blackboard web site. Feel free to drop in to discuss your writing during those
times. In addition, you can always email me with non-urgent requests/questions, or
you can make appointments with me. Our time together is not limited only to class
time; you should seek me out at other times, too, as necessary.
Giving Clear, Written Assignments: I will always give you written instructions for
completing each of the four major writing assignments–in fact, they’re already available
to you online at our class Blackboard website. I will post daily homework assignments
to the Blackboard web site so that you can easily access that information, too.
Using Class Time Productively: While I cannot guarantee that you will find every class
session exciting and fun, I’ll do my very best to construct activities, homework
assignments, and discussion topics that are useful and give you direction in writing and
revising the major assignments.
Description of Assignments: You’ll be doing quite a bit of writing in this course. You
will write five papers, all of which you must complete to submit a final portfolio.
Assignment One: Portrait of a Place
Assignment Two: Oral History Preservation Project
Assignment Three: Citizen Journalists
Assignment Four: On the 2008 Campaign Trail
In addition to the above assignments, you also will complete numerous writing and
discussion activities throughout the term. Participating in these activities will help you
to write and revise your papers for the final portfolio. These activities will include:
Responding to your peers’ papers in class
Brainstorming, researching, revising, and editing activities;
Reading and discussing assigned course material
Informal writings, such as responses to readings or self-assessments of your work in
Students will submit a portfolio of his or her best writing at the end of the term to be
graded by their writing instructors. While you must complete all four formal writing
assignments, you must include drafts of all papers in your portfolio. Throughout the
term, your classmates, writing center consultants, and instructor will give you feedback
to your writing but will not grade it. From time to time, as a class, we’ll read and
―grade,‖ volunteer students’ papers. Through these activities, you should have a strong
sense of where your writing stands throughout the term. You must complete all four
required papers and participate satisfactorily in class activities in order to be eligible to
turn in a portfolio at the end of the term. Your course grade will be decided mainly by
the quality of the papers in your portfolio and in part by your participation in class
activities. Your portfolio will account for the letter part of your course grade (A, B, C, D,
Midterm Evaluation: GVSU requires professors to submit midterm grade reports "for
all freshmen and for any undergraduate student in other than good standing." Midterm
grades will be mailed to your local address but not recorded on your official transcript.
Midterm grades are meant to give you a sense of where you stand at that point in the
course. As such, they are an estimate of your work only halfway through the course and
have no bearing whatsoever on your final grade.
Disability Support Services: If there is any student in this class who has special needs
because of learning, physical or other disability, please contact me and Disability
Support Services (DSS) at (616) 331-2490. Furthermore, if you have a disability and
think you will need assistance evacuating this classroom and/or building in an
emergency situation, please make me aware so I can develop a plan to assist you.
Writing Center: You should feel free to visit the writing center outside of class time,
too, if you need extra help with your writing. The Meijer Center for Writing and
Michigan Authors assists all writers at any stage of their writing processes. Peer
consultants can help with brainstorming ideas, organizing content, paraphrasing or
summarizing research from various sources, polishing a final draft, and correctly
documenting sources. Their goal is to give writers the sort of feedback and support they
need to write successfully.
Walk-in Hours: All students at the university can take advantage of walk-in hours by
simply coming into the Center with whatever paper they are working on. A trained
peer consultant will assist you with whatever aspect of your writing you think needs
work. A report documenting your walk-in session gets sent to the instructor each time
On the Allendale Campus
Lake Ontario Hall 120, 331-2922
Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fridays, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sundays, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
On the Pew Campus, Grand Rapids
DeVos 101 B
Mondays through Thursdays, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
On the Meijer Campus, Holland
Wednesdays, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
At the end of the semester, take advantage of our Writing Right Where You Are program,
geared toward WRT 150 students, as you complete your portfolios.
Grammar Chat: If you need a quick grammar or mechanics question answered, use the
Writing Center’s Grammar Chat hotline! Log onto AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo!
Messenger and chat with one of our consultants. Here are their chat ID's:
AOL Instant Messenger: GVSU Wtg Ctr
Yahoo! Messenger: GVSU_Writing_Center
In-Class Writing Consultants and Peer Feedback Groups: There will be a writing
consultant in our regular, non-computer class for an hour every week. During this time,
you’ll be sharing, in a group with a consultant, your writing. I expect you to receive
feedback from all the members of your group, and I expect you to provide feedback to
others. While in your group, carefully pay attention to what others are saying, and
honestly tell them what you liked, what you need to be clarified, what you thought
needed more detail, what you thought might be improved upon.