Class Web Site: spalding.pbworks.com
COURSE INFORMATION Course Name: ENG 111
Course Title: College Writing
Credit Hours: 3
Meeting Time: MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m. (ADM 232)
CATALOG DESCRIPTION ENG 111 prepares students for the rigor and practice of college writing and critical thinking. There is a strong emphasis on the essay form, and on the reciprocal processes of clear writing and analytical reading. Students will both analyze model essays and write a sequence of essays that build toward a rhetorical repertoire. They will learn to use language with nuance, clarity, and appropriateness of expression; additionally, they will master the essentials of academic research. Students will learn to incorporate and respect other voices through integration of quotations, standard principles of documentation, and avoidance of plagiarism.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.
Wyrick, Jean. Steps to Writing Well. 8th ed. Boston: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2011.
Upon completing English 111, students should:
Demonstrate critical thinking through the interrelated activities of reading and writing. To achieve this end, students will:
Annotate, analyze, evaluate, and discuss a variety of student and professional texts, focusing primarily on rhetorical principles under study.
Practice summarizing and paraphrasing material from a variety of texts as a means of developing and supporting their ideas.
Analyze and discuss their own work through reflective memos and journals.
Read critically and write clearly and persuasively in various rhetorical contexts. To meet this requirement, students will:
Read and write a variety of texts for distinct purposes and for a variety of personal, public, and academic audiences. Written work should include four out-of-class papers (most of which will be three-to-four word processed pages) and some in-class writing.
Compose texts that are focused and well-developed through use of details, examples, comparisons, graphs, and statistics. All citations must be appropriately documented.
Practice the recursive stages of the writing process (inventing, drafting, organizing, revising, and editing) for each paper.
Practice different ways of organizing and arranging ideas and content, to meet the specific needs of various rhetorical contexts.
Demonstrate knowledge of usage, spelling, punctuation, and language conventions.
Apply methods of inquiry appropriate to various rhetorical contexts. To achieve this end, students will:
Generate information using a variety of heuristics (freewriting, brainstorming, clustering, cubing, etc.).
Make themselves familiar with the Funderburg Library and its services, using computer indexes and the Internet to gather secondary information for papers.
Use primary research methods such as observing and interviewing, incorporating the results into their papers.
Synthesize materials drawn from such primary and secondary sources with their own ideas and experiences.
Move beyond mere reporting of information, so as to make an original intellectual contribution.
METHODS OF INSTRUCTION:
Freewriting, journaling, exploring, focusing, drafting, critiquing, and revising activities both in and out of class.
Writing, writing, and writing.
Brief explanations of the principles of writing.
In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, please let your instructor know if you require any special accommodations.
WRITING REQUIREMENTS: Students will complete four major writing assignments:
A Definition (or Concept) Paper.
An Analysis Paper.
A Compare-Contrast Paper.
A Trend Research Paper.
In addition, there will be minor writing and homework assignments, in-class exercises, classroom presentations, and daily quizzes.
Please note that all papers written outside class must be typed. Use the MLA style for margins, headers, and page numbering. Be certain that all papers are clearly titled and identified according to MLA guidelines.
PORTFOLIO: At the conclusion of the course, all students will be expected to present a Portfolio of their writings. Because we emphasize the Writing Process, the Portfolio will contain all prewriting activities, as well as outlines, initial and polished versions of essays, etc. What this means, of course, is that nothing should be blithely thrown away! The purpose of the Portfolio is to demonstrate the evolution of an essay from initial idea to polished text.
EXAMINATIONS: A midterm exam and a final exam will be administered on dates and times to be announced. In order to receive credit for the course (and this cannot be overemphasized), students MUST successfully complete all major writing requirements and all examinations.
WRITING CENTER: The professor may, on the basis of a diagnostic essay given during the first week of class, require some students to meet with an instructor in the Writing Center twice a week (in lieu of the remedial classes demanded by most colleges and universities). If there is a marked improvement in subsequent essays, students so designated may, upon recommendation of the instructor, be excused from attending the Writing Center. Of course, all students are strongly encouraged to take their essays to the Writing Center for general feedback and advice. Every writer needs a reader.
COURSE POLICIES: Attendance: Students are expected to attend class (including the Writing Center, if so required) regularly and to be on time; failing to do so will lead to failure in the course. Should students miss more than three class sessions, they may be dropped from the course.
Participation: Because collegial life hinges on group interaction, students are expected to participate in class discussions, in group discussions, and in writing workshops. All students will share drafts of their work in the course of the Writing Process.
Presentations: Each student will be expected to make two in-class presentations. This will include preparing readings in advance (possibly in consultation with the professor), and engaging in some minor research and analysis. Essentially, the student will be responsible for leading the class discussion and for posing significant questions which arise from the readings.
Deadlines: All work must be handed in on time (and may not be submitted via e-mail). Grades on major assignments will be reduced by half a letter grade for each day they are late—and only then with prior consent from the instructor. Homework assignments, class work, quizzes, and take-home tests may not be turned in late or made up at a later time.
Written Assignments: No matter what their final average may be, students MUST turn in all four papers and the portfolio (plus take the exams) in order to pass the course.
Writing Center: Students who are required to visit the Writing Center but fail to do so will be dropped from the course.
Athletic/Extracurricular Participation: Outside activities are an important part of the college experience. However, academics are always a student’s first priority. Those who intend to miss class owing to athletic or extracurricular activities will need to provide a written schedule signed by their coach or sponsor within two weeks of the first day of class. While those engaged in college sports programs may miss class, they are responsible for completing their work before the class period occurs.
Cell Phones: Students should turn their cell phones off in class unless there is a legitimate reason not to do so (the student is an emergency responder or caregiver), in which case the phone should be set on vibrate mode. All calls will be taken outside the classroom. Phones may not be used for texting in class.
Plagiarism: Using another’s words or ideas as one’s own amounts to academic theft and is neither permitted nor tolerated. Plagiarism will result in an “F” grade or dismissal from the course. All of the following constitute plagiarism:
Copying word for word from another source without acknowledging it.
Paraphrasing or summarizing another source without acknowledging it.
Adopting a particularly apt turn of phrase as if it were yours.
Using an image or a copy of an image without crediting the source.
Paraphrasing another’s line of thinking as if it were yours.
Receiving excessive help from a friend (or, indeed, from any source).
Using another’s project as if it were yours.
[Adapted from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: MLA, 2003: 65-75.]
SUPPORT SERVICES: The College provides many resources to help students succeed. Among these are the following:
The Funderburg Library < http://www.manchester.edu/OAA/Library/index.htm>
The Library provides a variety of resources that support both academic and personal inquiry. Please familiarize yourself with all that it has to offer. Computer terminals provide access to numerous electronic resources (among them some excellent databases), most of which are also accessible via computer.
The Writing Center Located in the College Union Success Center, the Writing Center offers students (and faculty) guidance in all aspects of the Writing Process. Whether you are brainstorming, writing, revising, editing, or proofreading, the Writing Center staff will be glad to assist.
Your Instructor An often overlooked resource is your instructor. If you are struggling or do not understand an assignment, then feel free to contact your instructor during posted office hours; or where circumstances do not permit otherwise, schedule an appointment.
Some Useful Links
Reminder: You may miss class three times without penalty or explanation; however, if you are absent more than three times you may be dropped from the course.
Proposed Schedule We will strive to follow the schedule outlined below. I will, however, make changes and modifications where the need arises. Changes will be announced in class, and it will be your responsibility to make note of them. All reading assignments, unless otherwise indicated, are from Jean Wyrick’s Steps to Writing Well. Any additional readings may be downloaded from spalding.pbworks.com.
text. Review of in-text citation conventions. The basic format for bibliographic entries.
Reminder: Sign up for conferences. Initial draft of Trend Research Paper will be due the next time we meet as a class.
12/01 Session 36
Conferences on Trend Research Paper.
12/03 Session 37
Conferences on Trend Research Paper.
12/06 Session 38
Due: Initial draft of Trend Research Paper for Peer Review. Bring multiple copies.
Reminder: Final version of Trend Research Paper is due next time. No exceptions.
12/08 Session 39
Due: Trend Research Paper is due for grading.
Read Before Class: Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, p. 689.
In-Class Reading: Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” (handout).
Discussion: Civil Rights.
12/10 Session 40
Revision/Preparation for Final Exam.
Finals Week 12/13-12/16 FINAL EXAM—At a time and place to be announced. Date ____________ Time ____________ Place ____________________________________________
What I Look For When I Grade
Having some acquaintance with the theories of Peter Elbow, a noted rhetorician and teacher of writing, my grading system is grounded—at least to some extent—in his.
I will identify errors by placing a check mark in the right-hand margin. I will not generally correct the error or even explain it. I will merely acknowledge it. If I feel compelled to comment, I will make brief observations in the left-hand margin, or in the double space immediately above the error. I will sometimes play the devil’s advocate, posing questions that I think you should have considered, or which I think any reasonably attentive reader would ask.
I do not, on the whole, dock points for errors. I simply read your paper and, in light of an overall impression, determine a grade.
If you are dissatisfied with your grade, then you are welcome to visit me during my office hours to discuss the possibility of a rewrite. Under these circumstances, if you earned a “B-” and you chose to make merely superficial corrections, you would earn a “B.” If you chose to make global revisions and to significantly rewrite your paper, then the grade might change considerably.
I am far more interested in the organization and fluency of your ideas than I am in minor technical errors (which can always be edited out later). By the time your paper has worked its way through the writing process, however, it ought to be almost error free.
In the final analysis, a strong thesis (or argument) which is clearly supported from the text and which exhibits an unusual originality or freshness (that indefinable je ne sais quoi) will separate the merely average from the superior.
If you are confused by my grading system, or if you do not understand why I have reached a particular conclusion or assigned a particular grade, then it is up to you to make the time to meet with me or to pay a visit to the Writing Center. All conferences will be conducted civilly within the confines of my office rather than in the classroom.
It is important to remember that grading, in the end, is a fairly subjective process. However, there are some things that I do look for. First and foremost, I use the Departmental Guidelines which are posted on the wall of the classroom and which are included in your syllabus. Beyond these I will look for the following:
Correct use of MLA style.
Evidence of pre-writing activity.
Clarity and conciseness of expression.
A strong, focused introduction.
A clear summative conclusion.
A central controlling thesis that is clear, arguable, and qualified.
An organic development of ideas (rather than something that sounds like a patchwork of quotations).
Varied sentence patterns.
Reader- rather than writer-based prose.
Minimal repetition of words, phrases, or quotations.
Organized and logical development of thought.
Ample support for your claims, along with examples from the text in question.
Quotations that are properly introduced and explained (i.e. no isolated quotations).
Correct grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling.
Evidence of thorough revision.
After reading your essay, I will, if needs be, write a terminal comment. Again, if you wish to discuss the terminal comment, or the marginal notes and annotations, please feel free to visit with me during my office hours, or to pay a visit to the Writing Center.
In the final analysis, I am looking for a thoughtful reader who fully engages the text, allowing it to act as a catalyst for learning. I do not want to read papers that are simply a formulaic response to some preconceived notion of what I want. I am looking for papers that are clear, reasoned, original, and logical, expressed in your own style, and demonstrating a clear command of language, punctuation, spelling, syntax, and grammar.
Source: Mark A. Spalding, 2004.
STANDARD GRADING SCALE
English 111: In-Class Presentations Over the course of the semester, each student will be required to be part of a group making an in-class presentation on the principles of writing and research. The presentations will be graded in terms of content and thoughtfulness. You may choose any format for your presentation, although I strongly encourage the use of technology and visual aids.
Generally, I will expect the following:
An attention getter—Introduce your subject (a specific principle of writing) in a novel or engaging way.
A brief explanation of the principle—Describe the issue at hand, addressing both common problems, or misconceptions, as well as effective implementation of the principle. Preferably focus on issues that have troubled you, or which you have noticed as troublesome for others.
Effective examples of the topic under discussion—Give several examples of the principle you are describing.
A brief discussion of the principle—Having described the issue, and having outlined several real examples of it, lead a discussion on the “rules” which will help others to write more effectively.
A summing up—Briefly review your presentation and your conclusions. Say why the matter under discussion is even relevant.
Students who fail to show up on the scheduled day of their presentation will receive an “F” for the Homework/In-Class Assignments/Quizzes category of their grade, as well as an “F” for the assignment itself.
My presentation is scheduled as follows:
Date ______________________ Subject ____________________________________________________
. CONTENT ORGANIZATION EXPRESSION MECHANICS AND USAGE
E A clear thesis, fully developed, Essay follows a logical progression Sentences are varied and thoughtful; In accord with Standard Written English;
X with concrete and vivid detail. that reveals a sense of symmetry and diction is fresh and precise; the tone quotes properly integrated into the
C emphasis; topic sentences make claims; complements the subject, distinguishes writer’s sentences.
E paragraphs are unified and ideas are the writer’s voice, and defines the
L well developed through quotes and audience.
L textual examples; clear transitions
E reveal the process of the argument.
G A clear thesis, developed Essay follows a logical progression; Sentences are varied and appropriate; Generally in accord with Standard Written
O with consistently pertinent paragraphs are unified and coherent; diction is clear; the tone suits the English; exhibits no serious deviations.
O detail. transitions are natural. subject matter.
P A thesis that is apparent Order of essay is apparent; paragraphs Sentences are appropriate but ordinary; There are only a few deviations from
E and which is supported with are unified and generally coherent; diction is generally clear; the tone is Standard Written English, which may