(Created by Emily Isaacs) Contact Information: semester, year, section number, professor name and email, office hours and location.
Isaacs, Emily, et al. Made with Words, 2nd ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Print.
Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference. 7th ed. Montclair State University custom edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.
Be sure to bring both texts to class every day. I appreciate that this can be burdensome, but you need these texts with you in class. Be prepared to write in them, to make notations, and to underline. These books can also be purchased through the bookstore. Useful Websites:
First Year Writing: http://www.montclair.edu/writing/firstyearwriting/
Center for Writing Excellence (CWE): http://www.montclair.edu/cwe
Required Unit Papers (1, 2, 4, and 6): 55%
Class Participation: 5%
Writing Portfolio 20%
Four Visits to the Center for Writing Excellence (one per paper): required (missing one is equivalent to an absence)
Daily Participation: required
Writing Exercises: required
Purpose of Course: The principal aim of this course is to provide students with the instruction, practice, and feedback to become capable, even excellent, college writers. Good writers are not good simply because they have "natural writing talent." Rather, good writers have become good through practice, and so that is what you will be doing in this class. The other key to becoming a good writer is learning how to assess your own writing and to use the feedback of others to effectively revise your prose for greater effectiveness.
This course is also designed to be a rigorous, thoughtful and engaging course about literacy and the power of language.
Course Expectations: Course expectations are articulated in the prefatory chapter (the chapter that precedes the “first” chapter) of the Montclair State University edition of A Writer’s Reference. Please read this chapter very carefully as it is an essential supplement to your syllabus. Here are a few points of elaboration.
Blackboard: Students are expected to check Blackboard at least twice a week. Much of your homework will come via Blackboard, and you will also have assignments that need to be completed. These activities are not listed in the syllabus, but be aware that they are part of your assignment grade.
Attendance and Class Participation: If you miss more than two classes your final grade will be lowered; for each additional absence beyond the two that are allowed your grade will be lowered a half grade (e. g., C+ to C). Additionally, you are expected to come to class prepared and on time. Finally, participate. The classroom will be a safe place for ideas, and I promise that no one will be punished or humiliated for giving voice to an unusual question or interpretation.
The Center for Writing Excellence: Introduction to Writing students are required to use the tutoring/consulting services offered by the Center for Writing Excellence. At the CWE trained assistants offer students free tutoring on all aspects of the writing process. Introduction to Writing students are required to consult with a CWE consultant during four of the six units of study—for a total of four sessions throughout the semester. You are required to visit the CWE for the first or second unit, and then it is up to you for which three of the remaining four you would like to see a consultant’s help. You are welcome to schedule appointments more frequently.
Each time you visit the CWE, be sure to ask your consultant to send you an email that will simply state that you have attended the CWE on a particular date. It is then your responsibility to submit this email along with your final draft or assignment for each unit.
Writing Portfolio: You will submit a portfolio of your writing at the end of the semester. This will include a selection of the exercises and essays you will have written over the semester. I will provide you with a detailed description of how to assemble and organize the portfolio, well in advance of the due date. Important: save and carefully label each piece of work as a separate data file for the Portfolio; do not “write over” any existing files when drafting, and be sure to BACK UP your work each time you type. Grades:
See the first chapter of A Writer’s Reference for grading rubric. Students in ENWR100 can receive final grades of A through F, or a grade of NC (No Credit). The NC grade is for students who have worked diligently and improved in their writing, but are not yet ready to take ENWR105. The NC grade provides 0 credits, but it does not affect students’ GPAs (the way an F does).
Missing Work. Students who do not submit any of the required major assignments will not pass the course.
Plagiarism: The plagiarism policy, which is explained in the prefatory chapter in A Writer’s Reference, is very simple. Students who plagiarize on any written assignment will fail the course and be reported to the Dean of Students office for disciplinary action.
Reading & Writing Schedule Note: Readings can be found in Made with Words, unless otherwise specified. “Bb” refers to Blackboard, and these readings must be printed and brought into class.
Unit 1: Placement Essay: (Writing: Central Claims) Day 1
Listed below is what is DUE on this day. The same method is employed throughout this syllabus.
Read: Reading Assignment: TBA (assigned as placement reading, prior to first class meeting)
Write: Draft 1 of Essay 1 due
In-Class: What is “good writing”? What is the point of my essay (central claim)? Tracing the claim through the essay.
Do: Sign up for your first visit to the CWE: first visit must be made by end of the third week of classes. Do this tonight! Day 2
Read: Hacker, A Writer’s Reference 67-72 and MSU 15-16 on reading in Introduction to Writing. Reread the assigned readings and annotate the first 20 pages. Bring annotated copy to class.
Write: In light of discussion and activities from the first day and from your own rereading and reflecting on the placement reading– rewrite – your essay for submission of middle draft of Essay 1. Bring in a hard copy and also put an electronic copy in the Assignments section of our Blackboard class community (if you have trouble with Bb, e-mail it to me at _________________ ). Label the electronic copy of your file LastnameFirstinitialEssay1RD2 (SmithJEssay1RD2). Be sure to include your email, phone number, and student ID on the draft.
Please Note: The second draft will serve two purposes: assessment and learning. It will be reviewed to verify that you are appropriately placed. If a faculty review committee determines that you will benefit from taking another class, the English Department will contact you directly by email and switch your class. If this switch occurs, you will continue working on this essay in your new class. For more information, please see the following website: http://www.montclair.edu/writing/firstyearwriting/placement.html.
The hard copy of the second draft will be reviewed by me and returned to you next class with commentary to direct your further revision for the final draft of this essay which will be graded.
Read: Donald Murray, “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts” (134-38)
Do: Bring a copy of your current draft of essay 1 to use in class.
In class: Full class and individual peer review; discussion of revision strategies
Read: Hacker, A Writer’s Reference, on central claims (16-18) and on academic honesty and plagiarism (MSU-11-12 and 357-65)
In-Class: Academic Honesty Discussion and Exercises; Proofreading and Editing Workshop
Write: Final Draft of Essay 1 Due. In this revision you will need to significantly revise your paper. Revision means cutting whole sentences and paragraphs, adding other sentences and paragraphs, re-arranging words and sentences. Submit evidence of your visit to the CWE, if you have it, along with your draft. In-Class: Self-Assessment of Essay One; In-Class Writing and Beginning of Unit Two
Do: Sign up for the CWE: essay two comes and goes quickly!
Unit 2: What Is Wrong with Montclair State?
Write: Draft 1, Essay 2. Assignment: What is Wrong with MSU? A personal response, expository essay. Two to three full pages. After completing the draft write a brief note explaining what your central claim is and how you have gone about supporting it.
In-Class: In-Class Writing. Full Class and Partner Peer Review. Discussion: Weak/Adequate/Smart Central Claims. Writing, “Generating More Writing,” (241-3).
Write: Final Draft of Essay 2.
In-Class: Editing for Clarity. Workshop (“Four Common Errors,” 254-5). Submit final draft of paper via Blackboard on the Safe Assign (Assignment section) by 12 midnight. Submit evidence of your visit to the CWE, if you have it, along with your draft. Unit 3: Summary and Quoting Day 8
Read: Richard Rodriguez, “Achievement of Desire” (173-82) and “Integrating Sources,” (Hacker, 379-87). Please note that this second reading is short but dense. Also, read the sample paper (Hacker, 436-40) and notice how the writer makes reference to the other writers to which she has referred (and look at the Works Cited page).
Write: (HW 2) Complete Summary and Quoting Assignment 1, pp. 236-7.
In-Class: Read Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue” (206-11). Practice summary and quoting; review signals phrases and other methods for introducing quotes. Review homework.
Do: Sign-up for the CWE. Remember, four visits over six units are required. Day 9
Read: Read Firoozeh Dumas, “Hot Dogs and Wild Geese” (22-25).
Write: (HW 3) Complete Summary and Quoting Assignment 2 (Bb).
In-Class: In-Class exam on summary and quoting. You will read a new reading from your text and demonstrate your skills in summary and quoting. [New reading: Leticia Salais, “Saying ‘Adios’ to Spanglish’” (180-1)]
Submit: If you chose to go to the CWE for this unit, be sure to submit evidence of your visit. Unit Four: Language and Identity, Language and Power Day 10
Read: Caroline Hwang, “The Good Daughter” (558-60), and Barbara Mellix, “From Outside, In” (124-33).
Write: (HW 4) Choose three of the authors we have read in the last two units and summarize the obstacles that these writers describe; then, reflect on how these individuals responded to these obstacles, considering their success or lack of success in doing so (1 ½ to 2 pp).
In-Class: Discussion of readings and homework. Discussion of Hacker, supporting claims section A2 (pp. 82-84)
Read: Robert D. King, “Should English Be the Law?” (529-38).
Write: (HW 5) Write a 1 ½ to 2 page analysis of King’s essay, comparing and contrasting each side of the argument he presents.
In-Class: in-class writing, discussion of readings, homework, preparation for paper.
Do: Sign up for the CWE: the essay-writing begins now. Do this tonight! Remember, you need to complete four visits over the six units of the course – we’re in unit four now, only two to go! Day 12
Write: Essay Three, Draft 1
In-Class: Peer Review.
Write: Essay Three, Draft 2. 2-3 pages, revised.
In-Class: “Generating Writing: Writing with Professionals” (244-5).
Submit draft at midnight, via Blackboard Assignment.
Read: Documentation section of Hacker, pp 358-71.
Write: (HW 6) Works Cited Exercise. Also, take “Self-Test” at the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Plagiarism Resource Site. Print out results.
In-Class: Writing Strategy: Documentation (238) and
Do: Sign up for your 3rd or 4th visit with the CWE (if you haven’t already). Time is running out, and remember, you can’t just pile them all in during the last two weeks of school. Day 15
In-Class: Editing and Style: Clarity Workshop (“Four More Common Errors,” 256-7).
Unit 5: Compare and Contrast Day 16
Write: Essay Three, Final draft. 3-4 pages. (Submit evidence of your visit to the CWE, if you have it, along with your draft.)
In-Class: Read Student Final Papers; Introduction to comparing and contrasting to make a point.
Read: Susan Jacoby, “Notes from a Free-Speech Junkie” (72-75) and Charles Lawrence III, “On Racist Speech” (96-100).
Write: (HW 7) Analysis through Comparing and Contrasting (on Bb).
In-Class: Homework Discussion and Debate
Submit: If you chose to go to the CWE for this unit, be sure to submit evidence of your visit. Unit 6: The Power of the Word Day 18
Read: Lucia Perillo, “Cripple: The Meaning of a Word” (155-59) and Gloria Naylor’s “The Meaning of a Word,” (139-42).
Write: (HW 8). Using Perillo and Naylor as models, write a 1-2 page personal reflection on a time in your life when you discovered the power of words. This could have happened inside or outside of school. It could have involved discovering the importance (or lack of importance) of one word, discovering spoken language, discovering reading or writing. After you have presented your personal narrative, write a paragraph discussing the importance of the event. What did you learn from this? How did it shape you as a person?
Do: If you haven’t done so already, sign up for your 4th visit to the CWE. Day 19
Read: Martha Irvine, “’Queer’ Evolution: Word Goes Mainstream” (66-8) and Andi Zeisler’s “The B-word? You Betcha,” (225-28). Also, “Establishing credibility” in Hacker, A2c (80-81).
Write: (HW 9). Summary and Response Exercise. (Bb).
Write: Essay 4, Draft 1 (Submit evidence of your visit to the CWE, if you have it, along with your draft)
In-Class: Writing on Topic: Extending and Developing Ideas (“Revising a First Draft” 246).
Write: Essay 4, Draft 2, 3-4 pages
In-Class: Peer Review
Read: Your first two essays
Write: An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your first two essays.
In-Class: Writing for Clarity Workshop: Revisiting the First Essay
Write:Essay 4, Final Draft due. Submit evidence of your visit to the CWE, if you have it, along with your draft. Portfolio
(See pages 258-9)
Read: Individualized. Identify two readings you need to re-read before revising your paper.
Write: (HW10). Reading Analysis Redo (on Bb).