Dr. Nika Hogan Prof. Kathleen Motoike

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Pasadena City College

Spring 2008
Dr. Nika Hogan Prof. Kathleen Motoike

Email: mihogan@pasadena.edu Email: kmotoike55@gmail.com

Office: C156-D

Office Phone: (626) 585-3243

Office Hours: 2/19-3/21 Office Hours: After 3/21

T/Th 9:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. By appointment

W 10:40-11:40

Welcome to English 1A! This semester’s work will be focused on the “American Dream,” specifically on reading and writing that focuses on questions of race, class, gender and “national security.” We will also explore how writing (and language more generally) can be used to create social change. Throughout the process of exploring this question, you will simultaneously be developing and strengthening the kind of reading, writing, researching and thinking expected in U.S. colleges and universities and helpful in terms of thinking critically about the culture(s) in which we live. Of course, no one writing class can teach you “how to write” for all of the different kinds of writing tasks you’ll be asked to do in college (or at work, or in your personal, or civic life), but what this course can teach you are the ways of thinking about the contexts, purposes and demands of a given writing (and/or reading) situation so that you can determine for yourself how to respond. Thus the various activities we will do for this class will support the overall goals of this course, which can be thought about in terms of the following student learning outcomes (SLOs):

English 1A Student Learning Outcomes

After having taken this course at Pasadena City College, you should be able to:

  • Write cogent, well-developed arguments that clearly articulate a thesis supported by textual evidence.

  • Read critically by summarizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating college level texts.

  • Select, evaluate, interpret and synthesize sources in the service of an argument.

  • Document sources (print, electronic and other) in MLA style.

  • Use effective strategies for pre-writing, composing, and revising of essays.

  • Every student will compose his or her own personal student learning outcomes (PSLOs)

Required Texts:

  • Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002.

  • Colombo, Gary and Robert Culler and Bonnie Lisle. Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2007.

  • Aaron, Jane E. The Little Brown Compact Handbook, 2nd PCC Edition. New York: Pearson Longman. 2007.

Recommended Texts:

  • A college-level dictionary

Required Supplies:

Please bring all handouts, textbooks, supplies and notebooks to class each meeting. You’ll need pens and paper to take notes.


This is a small, workshop based course which requires full participation from all members: as such, attendance is mandatory! I realize that life is unpredictable, and so everybody is allowed two “free” absences, no questions asked. Save these for the sicknesses, traffic issues, or personal emergencies that tend to come up over the course of a semester. For every absence after 2, however, your grade will be docked by 5 points. NO EXCUSES, medical or otherwise, will be accepted after 2 absences. You must make arrangements to turn in assignments due on the day you are absent. No excuses will be accepted for missed deadlines, even as a result of an absence. **Note: If you miss eight hours of class, or four classes, you can be dropped from the course. Keep in mind, though, if you decide to stop attending class, it is your responsibility to officially drop in order to avoid an “F” on your transcript. This semester, the last day to drop a course with a “W” is May 9.

What constitutes an absence?

    1. Missing class.

    2. Not having a draft on the day that it is due.

    3. Not showing up for a scheduled conference.

    4. Not having your own copy of the reading assignments


Everybody is late sometimes, which should not constitute a problem unless you are chronically or extremely late. I will dock you 1 point for every five minutes that you come in late. So, if you are fifteen minutes late, you will lose 3 points. On the bright side, if I am ever late, I will award everybody who is present points using the same scale.

Requirements: Please note that you must complete all of the requirements in order to pass the course! For example, if you never turn in Essay 1 but have straight A’s on everything else, you still cannot receive a passing final grade until you finish Essay 1. This is what we mean when we call them “requirements.”


You will earn between 0-200 points in this class. The point distributions are outlined below.

Reading Assignments

It is imperative that you complete each reading assignment before the class begins. Your participation grade depends on your contribution to class discussions about the reading assignment.

Essays (120 points)

You will write 4 essays in this class. Each will ask you to make critical academic arguments and deliberate rhetorical choices about the ideas presented in the reading we will be doing. You must complete all required drafts and parts of the writing processes we engage in as a class in order to receive full credit for these essays. I will not give you any credit at all if you turn in only your final draft. Essays must be submitted at the beginning of the class period on which they are due. Late papers will be docked 10% for each class period they are late.

Group Project Presentation (20 points)

Working with a small group of your peers, you will plan and execute a presentation to “teach” one chapter of Fast Food Nation to the rest if the class.

Participation (20 points)

Daily participation in CLASS DISCUSSIONS is critical to your success in the course. Participation includes: reading and fully digesting any reading assignment BEFORE the class day for which it is assigned; active effort to join in the discussions and workshops (at least one comment per class); good faith effort in peer response and other group work. Note: “Negative” participation, such as sleeping or disrupting other people’s work in class, will have a correspondingly negative impact on your participation grade.

Writing Journal (20 points)

Writing Journals will be prompts that are related to the topic of discussion. They will give you practice in formulating thoughts on paper. Most of the time, the responses to these prompts are directly linked to your upcoming essay. In the case of the informed position paper, the writing journals are your first “rough” drafts of portions of your research paper.

Final Portfolio (20 points)

The portfolio is your opportunity to reflect on the work you have done all term and make plans for your future reading and writing projects.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Please familiarize yourself with the college’s policy on cheating and plagiarism. Neither will be tolerated. Both will result on an “F” on the assignment and you will be referred to the academic dean for counseling. Any further instances of cheating will result in an “F” in the class. Plagiarism is stealing, whether intentional or not. Plagiarism means using someone else’s WORDS, IDEAS, or RESEARCH without giving proper credit with parenthetical citation. You must give a parenthetical citation even if you PARAPHRASE. Plagiarism is also using YOUR essays or assignments from another class for this one. You may not use assignments from another class to earn a grade.

Writing Center

In order to pass this class, you must be concurrently enrolled in English 900, Writing Center Lab, which requires you to spend one hour each week in the English Department’s Writing Center (located in C341 and 345). The lab is designed to both supplement and complement the work we are doing in the course. Faculty and peer tutors will offer one-on-one and group teaching activities, and the lab also offers computer-assisted tutorial software that will address grammar, mechanics, and general reading and writing skills. You are only allowed two absences from the Writing Center during the course of the term. Note: You must bring your Lancer card, registration slip, and 900 Assignment sheet every time you attend the lab.

The English Division policy states that any student who is not already enrolled in one section of English 900, The Writing Center, by Monday of the fourth week of the semester, will be dropped from English 1A. There will be no exceptions. This means you might need to enroll in a section of the Writing Center that is not convenient for your schedule. At some point you may be able to switch sections.

Disabled Students

If you have a disability and need special accommodations, please let me know within the first week of class. To receive accommodations, all disabled students must first visit Disabled Students Programs and Services for proper documentation. Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSP&S) is designed to enable eligible students with a verified disability(s) to participate fully in all of Pasadena City College's academic and vocational programs. Those with learning, physical, developmental, visual, hearing, speech/language, other health impairments, and /or psychological disabilities may inquire about services by contacting DSP&S.
Room: D209; Telephone: 626-585-7127; Fax: 626-585-7566

Class Schedule

This schedule is flexible and subject to change at any time!

Week One: February 17-23

Wednesday, 2/20:

In Class: Introductions

Homework: Read: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, “Introduction”

Write: Start your “Journalistic Inquiry”

Week Two: February 24-March 1

Monday, 2/25:

In Class: “Culture Box” exercise; Begin Fast Food Nation Group Project Presentations

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation Chapters 1 and 2

Write: Rough Draft of Essay #1

Wednesday, 2/27:

In Class: Rough Draft of Essay #1 is DUE; Peer Response; Discuss Fast Food Nation

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation Chapters 3 and 4

Write: revise Rough Draft

Week Three: March 2-8

Monday, 3/3:

In Class: Mid Process Draft of Essay #1 is DUE; Self Assessment; Individual conferences with me to develop personal student learning outcomes (PSLOs)

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation Chapters 5 and 6

Write: Work on Group Project Presentations; continue to revise Essay #1

Wednesday, 3/5:

In Class: Individual conferences with me to develop personal student learning outcomes (PSLOs)

Homework: Read ahead and Work on Group Project Presentations; continue to revise Essay #1

Saturday, 3/1: Last Day to Add or to Drop a course without a “W”
Week Four: March 9-15

Monday, 3/10:

In Class: Final Draft of Essay #1 is DUE; Fast Food Nation Presentations, Groups 1 and 2

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation Chapters 7 and 8

Wednesday, 3/12:

In Class: Fast Food Nation Presentations, Groups 3 and 4

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation Chapters 9 and 10
Week Five: March 16-22

Monday, 3/17:

In Class: Fast Food Nation Presentations, Groups 5 and 6

Homework: Read: Fast Food Nation, Epilogue and Afterword

Wednesday, 3/19:

In Class: Write Essay #2 in class

Homework: Write reflective writing memo on the essay that you wrote in class; where do you feel it was strong? Where in your essay did you have difficulties? If you could rewrite it again, what would you do differently? Read: Introduction to the text Rereading America.

Week Six: March 23-29

Monday, 3/24:

In Class: Due: Reflective Writing Memo for Essay #2; Overview of the next unit of the class; Discuss Introduction and Cultural Myths about America and the American Dream; Writing Journal: Reactions, questions, comments.

Homework: Read: Harmony at Home: The Myth of the Model Family – introduction; and Gary Soto, “Looking for Work”

Wednesday, 3/26:

In Class: Discussion of the American ideal of family. Discussion of the issues raised in the introduction and “Looking for Work”

Homework: Read: Look for articles on one of the suggested websites (TBA). Bring two articles that are relevant and interesting to you about the American family. Also look for media representation of family – print ads, billboards, commercials, television shows, movies. Bring in at least one example – describe as accurately as you can – objectively – and comment on the meaning of the example.
Week Seven: March 30-April 5

Monday, 3/31:

In Class: Journal: How does the myth of the American family differ from reality? What are the consequences? How has it changed? What do these changes mean for many who seek the American Dream? Class discussion on journal. Small group discussion and sharing of articles found on the internet. Select the top two articles from the group to present to the rest of the class.

Homework: Based on the discussion in class, update your class journal. Continue looking for examples of the American family in the media. Finish write-ups.

Wednesday, 4/2:

In Class: Discuss media examples and compare to the articles that were found on the internet. Are there discrepancies? What are the issues involving the ideal of the American family? What are possible informed position topics that could be written on the topic?

Homework: Write draft of Essay #3 – The Myth of the American Family and the American Dream
Week Eight: April 6-12

Monday, 4/7:

In Class: Essay #3 Due reflective memo on the essay – comments about the process. Discuss the myth of Education and the American Dream – historical examples, current news topics; Review the introduction to Learning Power: The Myth of Education and Empowerment.

Homework: Read Michael Moore, “Idiot Nation”

Wednesday, 4/9:

In Class: Discussion of Essay #3 and revision strategies. Workshop essays. Discuss “Idiot Nation”

Homework: Research for articles on education. Bring in two examples. Revise Essay #3
Spring Break: April 14-19
Week Nine: April 20-26

Monday, 4/21:

In Class: Essay #3 Due. Discuss education and possible topics for researched informed position paper. Discuss Money and Success: The Myth of Individual Opportunity. Historical and current examples. What does success mean in the American Dream? What does success mean to you as an individual?

Homework: Read introduction, Gregory Mantsios “Class in America—2003. Look for internet articles about success, class and opportunity.

Wednesday, 4/23:

In Class: Discuss Class and the American Dream; Library Visit

Homework: Read Diana Kendall, “Framing Class: Vicarious Living, and Conspicuous Consumption.” Bring in two articles.
Week Ten: April 27-May 3

Monday, 4/28:

In Class: Discuss the Kendall article; discuss research articles and discuss in small groups; two minute presentations for each group. possible researched informed position topics.

Homework: Read: True Women and Real Men: Myths of Gender introduction; brainstorm. Read Jean Kilbourne,”Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt”: Advertising and Violence.

Wednesday, 4/30:

In Class: Discuss Kilbourne article; discuss issues and topics – as relates to American Dream – family, education, class and opportunity

Homework: Internet research on gender in areas that interest you. Bring in two examples of the same topic.
Week Eleven: May 4-10

Monday, 5/5:

In Class: Journal writing on the issue of gender and the American Dream. Small group discussion of articles; summary and presentation. Discuss possible topics of how gender can be a factor in the American Dream.

Homework: Review class discussion notes,, journals and lists of topics. Select three topics that interest you the most. Write a journal explaining why they interest you.

Wednesday, 5/7:

In Class: Discuss informed position paper – identifying a topic and narrowing it down – forming the research question; looking for sources. Small group workshop on the homework journals. Draft proposal due at the end of the class.

Homework: Write formal research proposal (bring two copies) Begin initial research for working bibliography

Saturday, 5/9: Last Day to Drop a course with a “W”
Week Twelve: May 11-17

Monday, 5/12:

In Class: Small group discussion of proposals and individual conferences.

Homework: Revise proposal and continue research; annotated working bibliography due on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 5/14:

In Class: Journal writing; individual conferences and review of working bibliography. Introduce source evaluations

Homework: Continue research; source evaluations—one of article from one view and second from the opposing view due on Monday.
Week Thirteen: May 18-24

Monday, 5/19:

In Class: Journal writing – what is the issue, what is the question, what are the different views? Workshop

Homework: Continue reading and researching.

Wednesday, 5/21:

In Class: Journal writing – what do you think about the question posed? Journal writing – what are opposing or alternative views on the question posed? Workshop on counterclaims. Discuss introducing sources; when to paraphrase, summarize and quote; Workshop journals.

Homework: Continue researching.
Week Fourteen: March 25-31

Monday, 5/26:

In Class: In class draft of informed position paper

Homework: Reflective memo and additional research.

Wednesday, 5/28:

In Class: Individual conferences and workshops.

Homework: Revise papers
Week Fifteen: June 1-7

Monday, 6/2:

In Class: Revision due – workshop and conferences

Homework: Revise drafts

Wednesday, 6/4:

In Class: Informed position paper due. Begin portfolio review project.

Homework: Portfolio review project
Final Exam Week: June 8-14

Wednesday, 6/11 8:00-10:00 Final Portfolios DUE!

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