Course: en 111 Time: mwf

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EN 111 English Composition II
Course: EN 111

Time: MWF

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Pifer

Office: 307 Shouldice Library

Office Phone: 635-2119

Office Hours MWF 10 a.m. to Noon

Course Description:
From the Catalog (2002-04):
First Year-Composition II prepares students for the complex demands of academic literacy and research. These require students to be able to critically observe personal and public knowledge; ask questions of reading and research; formulate hypotheses; design and conduct research projects, both in the library and in the field; and identify further avenues of inquiry. To help students develop these abilities, the course also teaches students the basic skills of analysis, interpretation, critical thinking and documentation. Required course work includes, but is not limited to, completion of an extended research project in your field of study.
Required Texts and Materials
1. Booth, Wayne C, et al. The Craft of Research. 2 Ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2003.
2. Raimes, Ann. Keys for Writers.. 3rd and Lake State Eds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. (You may already have a copy of this text. If so, do not by another copy. If you have an early version, or an entirely different handbook, that is also fine. Bottom line: You need an updated handbook of some kind. It is even a good idea to order the documentation handbook used to document sources in your field, such as the MLA handbook [6th Edition], the APA Handbook, or the CBE Handbook. In all cases use the up-to-date version)
3. Kelly, Joseph, ed. The Seagull Reader: Essays. New York: Norton, 2002.
4. You will be required to make some copies throughout the course.
5. One 8 1/2" by 11" manila folder.


You will be conducting a semester long research project. The assignments listed below are designed to help you complete an effective research project, and also teach you important research, analysis, and critical thinking skills. In your project, you will investigate an issue relevant to you “major” field of study. You should think of this project as a chance to function as professional, developing useful communication strategies that will help you in any future occupation.

Grading System
Research Prospectus 15%

Research Portfolio 15%

An Annotated Bibliography 20%

An Abstract 10%

Final Research Project (5-7 pages) 25%

Four Argumentation micro-themes:

Evaluation; Causal; and Ethical;

and one reflective essay on

argumentation 15%
Grading Scale: 93-100=A, 90-92=A-, 86-89=B+, 83-85=B, 80-82=B-, 76-79=C+, 73-75=C, 70-72=C-, 66-69=D+, 63-65=D, 60-62=D-, 0-59=F
Important Note: All major assignments (those listed above) must be turned in to receive a passing grade. For example, regardless of the grade you receive on your microthemes and prospectus, if you fail to turn in the final research paper, you will receive a failing grade. Remember that in order to learn the skills taught in this class you need to complete all the required work; it’s a fundamental consideration.
Attendance and Participation
I will calculate your attendance and participation grade according to the following method: everyone will begin the semester with a 105%. For every occasion that you do not have your homework, or any day that you are unprepared for class, I will subtract 5 points.
In addition, your classroom “attitude” can lower your participation grade. I expect that you will conduct yourself in a respectful, mature manner during class. You will not read the paper, do homework for another class, pass notes, listen to headphones, etc. Even if you are bored, frustrated, or annoyed either with the class or with some unforeseen event outside of class, it is your responsibility to be interested and engaged.

Late Papers

I will not accept late papers or late homework. If you have some problem with your paper you must notify me about this problem before the due date.

Paper Format

All papers must be typed and double-spaced. When using documentation, you should adhere to the format appropriate to your project and field of study, which we will cover in class or during individual consultations. We will also discuss what computer resources are available to you. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the library and the Internet--both of these resources will help you during this term.

Writing Center

The writing lab is a resource you should use to help you with your writing. The writing consultants employed there can help you develop an assigned essay to meet the requirements specified during class. Take the time to become familiar with this resource and use it regularly (refer to the green hand-out for more information).

113 Kenneth J. Shouldice Library

Lake Superior State University

(906) 635-2849

The Learning Center's Writing Lab consultants will be available for student consultations during the following hours each week throughout the spring 2003 semester:
Monday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Tuesday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Wednesday: 9 a.m.- 10 a.m, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 5 p.m - 8 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Sat./Sun.: Not available

The Learning Center's regular semester hours are the same as always:
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

We open on Monday, January 13th with regular semester hours. We're located in LBR 112-114
Attendance and Tardiness Policies
Because this class relies heavily on in-class work and peer revision, we must adhere to a strict attendance policy. You are allowed three unexcused absences or “free days.” Use these carefully. Upon receiving a fourth unexcused absence your grade will drop one letter (i.e. from a B to a C). At the fifth absence your grade will be lowered two letters, and at the seventh your grade will be lowered three letters (i.e. from a B to a D).
I will excuse your absences if you bring me the proper written documentation within one week of the absence. There will be no exceptions.
For every three times you are late for class, you will receive one unexcused absence. If you are more than 10 minutes late for class you will be counted absent for that day.
Disability Services and Accommodations for Students.
In compliance with Lake Superior State University policy and equal access laws, disability-related accommodations or services are available. Students who desire such services are to meet with the professor in a timely manner, preferably the first week of class, to discuss their disability-related needs. Students will not receive services until they register with the Resource Center for Students with Disabilities (RCSD). Proper registration will enable the RCSD to verify the disability and determine reasonable academic accommodations. RCSD is located in South Hall Office 206. The telephone number is (906) 635-2454.


Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s writing or ideas as your own. It is a form of academic misconduct that seriously undermines the intellectual pursuits undertaken in the university and, therefore, is severely punished. If you have any doubts about how to cite a source ask me and I will help you document it correctly.

Classroom Atmosphere

This is a course where many viewpoints and ideas will be expressed by members of the class and by the materials used in the course. Some of these viewpoints will be new to you; some may also be distasteful to you. The important thing to remember is that it is not the idea itself that we will be evaluating, but the method in which the idea is expressed. While we will strive to allow for everyone’s opinion, some things simply cannot be tolerated. Personal attacks and offensive language in class are counterproductive and will not be allowed. This also means that prejudicial behavior or language based on someone’s race, sex, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs has no place in this classroom and will not be tolerated.

Syllabus Fall 2003

Important Notes:
1. This syllabus may change during the term. Do not be alarmed when this happens. During class you will be promptly notified of any changes.
2. Note the attendance policy.



Week 1

--Class Introductions

--Read Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2 of Craft

--Read introduction, “What are Essays?”, to Seagull Reader

--Discuss argumentation

--Nature of Argumentation and research

--Begin first microtheme: Evaluation Argument

--Discuss Prospectus assignment and begin Research

--Keep all research in Research Portfolio. This information will be discussed during Research Group meetings.

--Read: Barbara Ehrenreich’s “In Defense of Talk Shows,” George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” and Jonathan Kozol’s “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”

Week 2

Discuss Craft readings

--Have Read Ch. 3 of Craft

--(Discuss microthemes in groups and as a class)

--Come to next class with Some possible research topic questions.

--Discuss part II in Craft

--Analyze research gathered.

--Discuss topics and issue questions.

--Discuss Ch. 3 of Craft

--Discuss Topics

--Turn in microtheme 1

Week 3

Discuss Style and Craft readings

--Read Chs. 4-6 in Craft

--Begin microtheme 2: Causal Argument

-- Read William Zinsser’s “College Pressures” and William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Why Don’t We Complain”

--Analyze and Evaluate research topics. What now?

--Have a cup of coffee, a soda (or is it pop) and get ready for the fun.

Week 4


--Begin microtheme 3:

Ethical Argument

--Read Chief Seattle’s “Letter to President Pierce” and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”


--Turn in microtheme 2

Week 5


--Peer Revision of Prospectus

--Discuss handout on Oral Presentations

--Discuss Oral Presentations

--Turn in microtheme 3

Week 6


--Peer Revision of Prospectus

--Turn in Research Prospectus: Topics cannot be changed after this point

Week 7

--Discuss Annotated Bibliography

--Turn in reflective essay on argumentation.

Week 8

--Read Part III in Craft

--Discuss and review issues of argumentation

--Discuss Argumentation (Part III of Craft)

Week 9

--Discuss Part III in Craft

----Discuss Argumentation

--Bring in example claim and reason

Week 10

--Research Paper

--Incorporating sources

--Read Part IV (chs. 12-15) of Craft

--Discuss preliminary drafts. What is working? What isn’t?

Turn in Annotated Bibliography

Week 11

--Part IV: Ch. 16: “Revising Style: Telling your Story Clearly”

Part V: Read Chapter “Research and Ethics” in Craft (pp. 255-258)

Week 12


Review Abstracts

Week 13

Thanksgiving Break

TB: Give thanks, rest, relax, laugh, get reacquainted with family and friends.

Week 14


Peer Review

Week 15

Writing Workshop/ conferences

Writing Workshop/ conferences

Week 16


Final Project and Portfolios Due on Exam Day

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