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					English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                  Fall 2009

                                 Composition I: “The Business of Text”
                                       TR 11-12:15, Bryan Building 202
Instructor: Ms. Laurie Lyda
Email:                             Phone: 334-5867 (common line, email is preferred)
Office: 3210E MHRA (Moore Humanities Research & Administration, on the corner of Forest and Spring Garden)
Office Hours: 2-3 TR & by appointment

Course Description:
The design of this course develops and hones critical reading, thinking, and writing skills – and since
“practice makes perfect,” we will read a variety of texts, engage in focused discussion, and write in a
variety of forms. Our “theme” is “The Business of Text,” and we will look at the rhetorical elements
needed to “sell” – literally and figuratively – a text. At course’s end, serious students will be comfortable
articulating ideas and possess a strong rhetoric foundation upon which future classes will build.

English 101 Course Objectives (what the Department expects of our course):
    1. To help students develop the ability to analyze texts, construct cogent arguments, and provide
        evidence for their ideas in writing;
    2. To provide students with multiple examples of argumentative and analytical discourse as
        illustrated via student and professional/published texts;
    3. To introduce students to rhetorical concepts of audience, writer, message, and context, and
        how to employ these in both formal and informal writing situations;
    4. To help students develop the ability to summarize, paraphrase, and use direct quotations in
    5. To promote to student writers the value of writing-to-learn through sequenced assignments
        rooted in a common theme or focus;
    6. To introduce students to the act of writing as a public and community-based process through
        the activities of drafting, peer review, and revision

Learning Outcomes (what you will accomplish in our course):
    1. Students engage in verbal and written dialogues in order to articulate critical, analytical ideas
       about selected texts.
    2. Students read and interpret multiple examples of argumentative and analytical discourse in
       order to develop critical thinking skills and gain familiarity with a variety of texts.
    3. Students identify, interpret, synthesize, and apply rhetorical concepts in both formal and
       informal writing in order to structure effective arguments and reach diverse audiences.
    4. Students produce writing in order to evidence an understanding of and a familiarity with generic
       conventions, including adherence to principles of Standard Written English.
    5. Students create and compile a sequenced research portfolio in order to illustrate
       comprehension, interpretation, synthesis, and adherence to genre conventions.
    6. Students communally review and dialogue about pieces of writing in order to comprehend the
       act of writing as a public/community-based process.

Required Texts and Materials:
Nazario, Sonia. Enrique’s Journey. New York: Random House, 2006. (ISBN: 978-0-8129-7178-1)
Technê Rhêtorikê: Techniques of Discourse for Writers and Speakers. Fort Worth: Fountainhead Press,
        2009. (ISBN: 978-1-59871-254-4)
Writing Matters. 4th Ed. Dubuque: Kendall-Hunt, 2008. (ISBN: 978-0-7575-5478-0)
English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                  Fall 2009

* Additional assigned readings posted on Blackboard should be printed out and brought to class.
Students without these Blackboard materials may receive deductions in course participation grades
and/or be unable to complete in-class work.

Course Requirements and Grading:
15% -- Reading Journal
10% -- Class participation, including engagement with the class, use of class materials, in-class work
        (including quizzes, peer review feedback, library instruction), and BB blog entries.
30% -- essays-in-progress grades (essay #1 = 8%, essay #2 = 10%, essay #3 = 12%)
45% -- Portfolio: “letter” (15%), reflections and revised essays (20%), “presentation” (10%)
* If a student is missing the reading journal OR any element of the portfolio, the student will fail the

Departmental Attendance Policy for TR Composition Classes:
Students are allowed two absences without a grade penalty. For each absence beyond those allowed,
students will be penalized one-half letter grade. Students who miss four classes on a two-day schedule
will fail the course.

* There is no differentiation between “excused” or “unexcused” absences: An absence is an absence.

Class Policy Regarding Late Assignments and Missed Exams:
Late assignments are not accepted. Email submissions are not accepted. Hard copies – stapled and
organized – are the only acceptable submissions, regardless of finicky printers and low ink cartridges.

* Exceptions to the rules regarding Attendance and Assignments/Exams may be made for students with
extenuating circumstances. I define extenuating as “emergency” or, in other words, concerning death,
major illness, surgery that cannot be rescheduled, and the like – not court dates, dental appointments,
advising sessions, etc.

Email Response Policy:
Unless you receive an away message, know that I will typically respond to your email within 48 hours. If I
have not replied to your message after 48 hours, please re-send the message.

Electronic Equipment Policy:
Cell phones should be on silent – not vibrate, but silent – and put away during class. Cell phones should
not be used in any capacity during the class. This even applies to using cell phones to note time. Trust
me; I will let you know when our class time is at an end.

Laptops: Only students with a special need (for purposes of note-taking or other classroom activities)
may use laptops in class. Students with such a need should make specific arrangements with the
instructor. No student may use a laptop in class without a prior arrangement with the instructor.

* Take these policies seriously. Violations of the Electronic Equipment Policy are recorded. The first
violation will result in no credit for the day’s work – regardless of what that particular day’s “work”
entailed (quiz, groupwork, etc.). Each additional violation (one per class) will result in an absence, and
the departmental absence policy will apply. Students will be notified of recorded violations via email.
English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                   Fall 2009

Class Community:
In a composition course, as in all areas of life, following simple rules of conduct and decorum assist in
building community and facilitating fruitful work. Therefore, I expect that students will avoid rudeness;
methods by which this may be accomplished include not talking when others are talking, not sleeping
and/or snoring in class, and not making excessive and unnecessary noises.

Students should be on time, and they should not pack up until class is finished; they also should not
leave until class is dismissed. If students need to enter or exit the classroom while class is in session,
they should do so quietly and respectfully.

When dialoguing, either in small groups or as a class, students will employ courtesy – the Golden Rule
always applies!

Academic Integrity:
“Academic integrity is founded upon and encompasses the following five values: honesty, trust, fairness,
respect, and responsibility. Violations include, for example, cheating, plagiarism, misuse of academic
resources, falsification, and facilitating academic dishonesty. If knowledge is to be gained and properly
evaluated, it must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Deceit and misrepresentations are
incompatible with the fundamental activity of this academic institution and shall not be tolerated” (from
UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy). To ensure that you understand the university’s policy on academic
integrity, review the guidelines and list of violations at I expect you to
abide by the Academic Integrity Policy. Depending upon the severity and the affected assignment,
violations of academic integrity may result in an automatic F for the course.

Office of Disability Services:
Students with documentation of special needs should arrange to see me about accommodations as soon
as possible. If you believe you could benefit from such accommodations, you must first register with the
Office of Disability Services on campus before such accommodations can be made. The office is located
on the second floor of the Elliott University Center (EUC) in Suite 215, and the office is open 8 am to 5
pm, Monday - Friday. Telephone: 334-5440; e-mail:

Student Services:
The purpose of the University Writing Center is to enhance the confidence and competence of student
writers by providing free, individual assistance at any stage of any writing process. Staff consultants are
experienced writers and alert readers, prepared to offer feedback and suggestions on drafts of papers,
help students find answers to their questions about writing, and provide one-on-one instruction as
needed. The UWC is located in 3211, MHRA. Website:

The University Speaking Center provides one-on-one tutoring and instructional workshop services for
UNCG students, faculty, employees, and members of the Greensboro community. Services are designed
to help clients further develop their oral communication confidence and competence. Assistance is
offered in the preparation and delivery of speeches, development of knowledge and skill in
interpersonal communication, and group or team communication. The USC is located in the same suite
as the UWC: 3211, MHRA. Website:

The Learning Assistance Center offers free services to the UNCG undergraduate community and is
located in McIver Hall, rooms 101-104 and 150. For help with study skills, email
English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                Fall 2009

                                              The Portfolio

What students will “do” through the portfolio process:
 develop metacognitive skills
 experience writing as both an individual and communal act
 create an annotated bibliography following MLA conventions and generating thorough critiques of
 generate three essays that utilize outside references and follow generic (including MLA) conventions
 engage in peer review experiences
 dialogue with a consultant in the University Writing Center
 maintain a reflection journal that details, step-by-step, the student’s process of writing in the class

What the portfolio will include (follow this order when compiling):
  1. Portfolio “Letter”

    2. To-be-graded draft of Essay #1
       Draft with my comments
       Peer-reviewed draft + peer comments
       Reflection Journal Entries, paired with their respective drafts
       Source Evaluation Worksheet

    3. To-be-graded draft of Essay #2
       Draft + my comments
       UWC-consulted draft + comments summary*
       Peer-reviewed draft + peer comments
       Reflection Journal Entries, paired with their respective drafts
       Source Evaluation Worksheet

    4. To-be-graded draft of Essay #3
       Draft + my comments
       UWC-consulted draft + comments summary*
       Peer-reviewed draft + peer comments
       Reflection Journal Entries, paired with their respective drafts
       Source Evaluation Worksheet

    5. Any additional materials

        * Students are required to visit the UWC for either Essay #2 or Essay #3. The related reflection
        journal entry will require students to answer specific questions, which will be posted on
        Blackboard under “Documents.”

Portfolios will be returned during the scheduled Final Exam Period (see schedule). Students who do
not pick up their portfolios will lose ten points off of their final course grade.
English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                  Fall 2009

                                   Additional Assignment Descriptions
       Blackboard Blog:
        Posts to the Blackboard Blog will take the form of group-posed reading questions for Enrique’s
        Journey, personal or group responses to questions posed either in class or via the group posts.
        While these posts are somewhat informal, they should be substantive – that is, at least one well-
        structured paragraph if not otherwise specified – and, as with all class writing, cleanly and
        carefully written.

       Essay #1:
        This exploratory essay will reflect the student’s basic understanding of their topic (think 5Ws &
        H); it will work towards the question about their topic that the student is most interested in and
        establish the “So What” of the now-narrowed topic.

        Essay #1 will incorporate at least four outside, evaluated sources. Students will write clearly,
        cleanly, and follow MLA conventions. The essay, in its to-be-graded incarnation, will be at least
        three full pages in length, but no more than four.

       Essay #2:
        This essay will critique an existing “argument” – a print article that will be included with each
        draft of the essay – related to the student’s now-narrowed topic. The impersonal critique will
        demonstrate an understanding of rhetorical concepts and their application.

        Essay #2 will incorporate at least two outside sources, not including the print article being
        dissected, that will be evaluated. Students will write clearly, cleanly, and follow MLA
        conventions. The essay, in its to-be-graded incarnation, will be at least four full pages in length,
        but no more than five.

       Essay #3:
        This essay will argue a point of the student’s choosing that is related to their now-finalized topic.
        Students will knowledgeably use rhetorical elements to craft their argument. This essay can be
        seen as the reverse of Essay #2 (#2 requires the breakdown of an argument; #3 requires the
        creation of one)

        Essay #3 will incorporate at least four outside sources, which should be evaluated per the
        worksheet. Students will write clearly, cleanly, and follow MLA conventions. The essay, in its to-
        be-graded incarnation, will be at least five full pages in length, but no more than six.

       In-class work (including groupwork):
        Work that falls under this heading will be defined on a case-by-case basis.

       Peer review:
        When the class engages in peer review, students are responsible for bringing full, hard copy
        drafts of their work to share with their groups. In addition, students are responsible for
        completing the will-be-provided guides for peer review. While these guides will be returned to
        the respective papers’ authors to aid in revision, students will be graded on their feedback and
English 101-47 Course Syllabus                                                                           Fall 2009

         general participation in this process. The concept of peer review will be discussed further in

        Portfolio “letter”:
         Details for this assignment will be provided later in the semester. This portion of the portfolio
         builds significantly from the reading and reflection journals. Additional information about
         portfolio organization, binding, etc., will also be given at that time.

        Reading Journal:
         The reading journal should be used as an aid to recall readings assigned throughout the
         semester. Entries may be written in prose or list form; while the length of an entry will vary,
         depending on reading selection as well as student interpretation, each reading selection should
         yield at least one “decent” paragraph (4-5 sentences).

         When posting to the Blackboard blog, reading journal entries should still be recorded – though
         on these rare occasions, it is okay if some content (as in the content you individually post)

         Reading journals should be brought to class daily as they may be used in class and/or taken up
         without notice. The reading journal may be handwritten or typed, though if the former, be sure
         to write neatly – if the latter, follow MLA conventions.

        Reflection Journal:
         Students will write reflections upon their writing and their writing process for each draft they
         produce. As the portfolio breakdown shows, each reflection accompanies its respective draft,
         but students should also keep an extra copy of their reflections in a “journal” for both
         safekeeping and easy access. These reflections play a key role in generating the Portfolio Letter.
         Students who do not maintain this journal may find the end-of-semester process much more
         difficult than it needs to be.

         These reflections will be guided by specific questions that will be provided on an assignment-by-
         assignment basis. While the length of the responses inevitably varies student-by-student, I
         expect them to be thoughtful and carefully crafted.

        Source Evaluation Worksheet:
         In lieu of an annotated bibliography assignment, students will complete a worksheet, which will
         be posted on Blackboard for easy access, to aid in the review and evaluation of their sources.
         Each essay requires a separate worksheet.

The syllabus and course schedule may be revised at the instructor’s discretion. The instructor will inform the class of
any changes and post the revised document(s) on Blackboard. Students are then responsible for keeping up with
those changes.
English 101-47 Course Syllabus   Fall 2009

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