Rhetoric and Writing Studies 200: The Rhetoric of Written Argument in Context Lecturer Jennifer Sager Fall 2012 Syllabus

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Rhetoric and Writing Studies 200:

The Rhetoric of Written Argument in Context

Lecturer Jennifer Sager Fall 2012

Office: Adams Humanities 3162

Office Hours: MW 12-1 p.m., TTH 2-3 p.m.

Office Phone: (619) 594-6250 ext. 1

E-mail: jjsager2002@yahoo.com


To enroll in RWS 200 students must have satisfied the English Placement Test and Writing Competency requirements and completed any one of the following: RWS 100, Africana Studies 120, Chicana and Chicano Studies 111B, or Linguistics 100.


RWS 200 is one of the most important courses you will complete in college. The skills you will learn in this class are applicable to almost every other class you will take in the future. In a practical sense, employers rank reading, writing, and critical thinking as some of the most essential skills job applicants should have. Understanding rhetoric (the study, uses, and effects of written, spoken and visual language) in its various modes, recognizing and employing rhetorical strategies, as well as learning how to organize your thoughts about rhetoric on paper and on PowerPoint, are skills that should enhance various aspects of your life, namely the following:

selecting the best possible candidate for president, senator, mayor, etc., and casting your vote for or against a proposition; convincing others to consider your point of view about an issue; resisting the temptation to buy everything you see advertised or believing everything you see on TV or film, hear on the radio, or read in print; using your power of words to woo women/men!

These are just a few of the ways in which RWS can enhance your life.

By the end of the semester, you should not only be able to write and revise papers addressing complex questions regarding rhetorical arguments in context effectively, use source materials responsibly, and make sound decisions about structure, cohesion, and conventions of correctness, but also you should be able to translate these scholarly skills into job skills and even life skills.
This class of academic and professional writing, reading, and critical thinking emphasizes using multiple sources, finding relationships among them, and generating analytical responses to them through writing. The class will also give attention to decisions about structure, cohesion, and rhetorical conventions.
What makes my class unique from other professors’ and lecturers’ RWS 200 courses is that we will analyze the rhetoric of visual argument in films, along with the rhetoric of written arguments. This does not mean that my course is somehow easier than other RWS 200 courses because we “just watch movies.” In fact, this course is just as challenging as any other RWS 200 course offered at State. As RWS Professor Richard Boyd, who created the first RWS 200 course at SDSU devoted entirely to documentary films, explained, the focus of this course will be the following: “Through a close ‘reading’ of a selection of documentaries and other films, we will work toward a more complex understanding of what it means to seek the ‘truth’ through argument and how that task can be both enabled and impeded by the various contexts of argument.”
General Education Capacities/Goals & RWS Learning Outcomes
Our Learning Outcomes Reflect the Goals and Capacities of the General Education Program. RWS 200 is one of several courses in the area of General Education defined as “Communication and Critical Thinking.” Focusing particularly on argument, this course emphasizes four essential General Education capacities: the ability to 1) construct, analyze and communicate arguments; 2) contextualize phenomena; 3) negotiate differences; and 4) apply theoretical models to the real world. This course advances General Education by helping students understand the general function of writing, speaking, visual texts, and thinking within the context of the university at large, rather than within specific disciplines. In addition to featuring the basic rules and conventions governing composition and presentation, RWS 200 establishes intellectual frameworks and analytical tools that help students explore, construct, critique, and integrate sophisticated texts.

Within this framework of four general capacities, the course realizes four closely related subsidiary goals. These goals focus on helping students

1) craft well-reasoned arguments for specific audiences;

2) analyze a variety of texts commonly encountered in the academic setting;

3) situate discourse within social, generic, cultural, and historic contexts; and

4) assess the relative strengths of arguments and supporting evidence.

Our student learning outcomes for RWS 200 are closely aligned with these goals and capacities, and reflect the program’s overall objective of helping students attain “essential skills that underlie all university education.”
Learning Outcomes

The following four outcomes describe the four major writing projects for the course. Students will be able to

  1. construct an account of an argument and identify elements of context embedded in it, the clues that show what the argument is responding to--both in the sense of what has come before it and in the sense that it is written for an audience in a particular time and place; examine a writer’s language in relation to audience, context and community;

  1. follow avenues of investigation that are opened by noticing elements of context; research those elements and show how one's understanding of the argument is developed, changed, or evolved by looking into its context;

  1. given the common concerns of two or more arguments, discuss how the claims of these arguments modify, complicate or qualify one another;

  1. consider their contemporary, current life as the context within which they are reading the arguments assigned in the class; position themselves in relation to these arguments and additional ones they have researched in order to make an argument; draw on available key terms, concepts or frameworks of analysis to help shape the argument The following points describe outcomes to work on throughout the semester, to be attained over the 15 weeks:

  2. Building on the work done in RWS 100, students will be able to articulate what argument a text is making; describe the work that is done by each section of the argument; describe elements of the argument—claims, methods of development, kinds of evidence, persuasive appeals; translate an argument into their own words;

  3. understand and incorporate all aspects of the writing process--including prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading;

  4. articulate what key terms, definitions, concepts, statements of a problem or issue are established by a text;

  5. investigate and articulate how an argument is positioned—based on certain kinds of assumptions, located in a way of thinking and representing issues from a point of view;

  6. work with multiples sources in a paper, deciding what to include and what to exclude, choosing an effective structure, and creating significant relationships among sources;

  7. analyze and assess arguments made by visual texts; incorporate visual images into their documents;

  8. craft a cohesive paper, and use effective metadiscourse to articulate the project of the paper and guide a reader through it;

  9. describe their own papers and reflect on how they wrote them; differentiate between the content of their texts and the language and rhetorical strategies they employ;

  10. assign significance to the arguments they read;

  11. revise their own work effectively, re-reading previous work and re-envisioning it in the light of reflection, feedback, further reading and new sources of information;

  12. edit their writing for the grammar and usage conventions appropriate to the project.

Course Materials


Access to a computer (Assignments and course materials will be posted on Blackboard, and I will be e-mailing you messages through Blackboard. You will also need to create PowerPoint presentations.)

Access to a TV and DVD player

Stapler and staples (I don’t staple your papers for you, so don’t ask me to do it. Thank you.)
Required Print Texts

Sager, Jennifer. RWS 200 Reader, 2nd edition (available exclusively at CalCopy) NOT YET PUBLISHED. STAY TUNED.

Stone, Oliver and Zachary Sklar. JFK: The Book of the Film
Recommended Print Texts

The American Heritage Dictionary or other comparable dictionary

Raimes, Ann. Keys for Writers, latest edition

Required Visual Texts

JFK (1991). Dir. Oliver Stone.

(copies available for check-out on Sager’s RWS 200 reserve list in the Media Center, lower level of the Love Library; for purchase at the SDSU Bookstore; or for rent online)

Other Possible Required Visual Texts for Projects

The Interrupters (2011). Dir. Steve James.

Do the Right Thing (1989). Dir. Spike Lee.

Hair (1979). Dir. Milos Forman.
Recommended Visual Texts

Black Swan

Winter’s Bone

The Hunger Games

Another Earth

Toy Story 3

The Kids Are All Right

The Hurt Locker


Into the Wild

Food, Inc.

The Cove

Tupac: Verses



Fight Club

American History X

Dead Man Walking

Fast Times at Ridgemont High


Legally Blonde


Chasing Amy



The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
Other Recommended Visual Texts for Writer’s Choice Project (some of which are on reserve under “Sager” and “RWS 200” in the Media Center)

21 Grams (2003). Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
American History X (2002). Dir. Tony Kaye.

Apocalypse Now (1979). Dir. Francis Ford Coppola.

At the Death House Door (2008). Dir. Steve James.

Babel (2006). Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

Best in Show (2000). Dir. Christopher Guest.

The Big One (1997). Dir. Michael Moore.

Borat (2006). Dir. Larry Charles.

Born into Brothels (2003). Dir. Zana Briski and Ross Kaufman.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Dir. Oliver Stone.

Bowling for Columbine (2002). Dir. Michael Moore.

Brokeback Mountain (2005). Dir. Ang Lee.

Capturing the Friedmans (2003). Dir. Andrew Jarecki

Carrie (1976). Dir. Brian De Palma.

The Celluloid Closet (1996). Dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

Capote (2005). Dir. Bennett Miller.

Chicago (2002). Dir. Rob Marshall.

Cinderella Man (2005). Dir. Ron Howard.

Crash (2005). Dir. Paul Haggis.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Dir. David Fincher.

Dead Man Walking (1995). Dir. Tim Robbins.

Deliver Us from Evil (2006). Dir. Amy Berg.

The Departed (2006). Dir. Martin Scorsese.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Dir. David Frankel.

Doubt (2008). Dir. John Patrick Shanley.

Dreamgirls (2006). Dir. Bill Condon.

Election (1999). Dir. Alexander Payne.

The Elephant Man (1980). Dir. David Lynch.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Dir. Michel Gondry.

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). Dir. Michael Moore.

Fahrenhype 9/11 (2004). Dir. Alan Peterson.

Fargo (1996). Dir. Joel and Ethan Cohen.

Fiddler on the Roof (1971). Dir. Norman Jewison.

Flags of Our Fathers (2006). Dir. Clint Eastwood.

Food, Inc. (2008). Dir. Robert Kenner.

For the Bible Tells Me So (2007). Dir. Daniel Karslake.

For Your Consideration (2006). Dir. Christopher Guest.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2009). Dir. Nicholas Stoller.

Frozen River (2008). Dir.Courtney Hunt.

Full Metal Jacket (1987). Dir. Stanley Kubrick.

The Godfather (1972). Dir. Francis Ford Coppola.

The Godfather Part II (1974). Dir. Francis Ford Coppola.

The Godfather Part III (1990). Dir. Francis Ford Coppola.

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). Dir. George Clooney.

Goodfellas (1990). Dir. Martin Scorsese.

Grey Gardens (1976). Dir. Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer.
Grey Gardens (2009). Dir. Michael Sucsy.

Grizzly Man (2005). Dir. Werner Herzog.

The Hangover (2009). Dir. Todd Phillips.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991). Dir. Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper.

Heathers (1988). Dir. William Lehman.

Hoop Dreams (1989). Dir. Steve James.

I Love You, Man (2009). Dir. John Hamburg.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006). Dir. Davis Guggenheim.

Into the Wild (2007). Dir. Sean Penn.

Into the Woods (1991). Dir. James Lapine.

Jesus Camp (2006). Dir. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973). Dir. Norman Jewison.

Julie & Julia (2009). Dir. Nora Ephron.

Junebug (2005). Dir. Phil Morrison.

Juno (2007). Dir. Jason Reitman.

Knocked Up (2007). Dir. Judd Apatow.

The Last Broadcast (1998). Dir. Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler.

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). Dir. Clint Eastwood.

Little Children (2006). Dir. Todd Field.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Dirs. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

Love Story (1970). Dir. Arthur Hiller.

Mad Hot Ballroom (2005). Dir. Marilyn Agrelo.

Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991). Dir. Alek Keshishian.

Magnolia (1999). Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson.

Malcolm X (1992). Dir. Spike Lee.

Mask (1985). Dir. Peter Bogdanovich.

Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful (1992). Dir. Julie Brown and John Fortenberry.

A Mighty Wind (2003). Dir. Christopher Guest.

Milk (2008). Dir. Gus Van Sant.

Million Dollar Baby (2004). Dir. Clint Eastwood.

Munich (2005). Dir. Steven Spielberg.

Murderball (2005). Dir. Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro.

Natural Born Killers (1994). Dir. Oliver Stone.

No Country for Old Men (2007). Dir. Joel and Ethan Cohen.

No End in Sight (2007). Dir. Charles Ferguson.

Notes on a Scandal (2006). Dir. Richard Eyre.

Notorious (2009). Dir. George Tillman, Jr.

Office Space (1999). Dir. Mike Judge.

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Dir. Milos Forman.

Ordinary People (1980). Dir. Robert Redford.

Platoon (1986). Dir. Oliver Stone.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Dir. Gabriele Muccino.

Quadrophenia (1979). Dir. Franc Roddam.

Raging Bull (1980). Dir. Martin Scorsese.

The Reader (2008). Dir. Stephen Daldry.

Requiem for a Dream (2000). Dir. Darren Aronofsky.

Rent (2005). Dir. Chris Columbus.

Roger & Me (1989). Dir. Michael Moore.

Saving Private Ryan (1998). Dir. Steven Spielberg.

Schindler’s List (1993). Dir. Steven Spielberg.

Sex and the City (2008). Dir. Michael Patrick King.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). Dir. Stephen Soderbergh.

The Shining (1980). Dir. Stanley Kubrick.

Sicko (2007). Dir. Michael Moore.

Sideways (2004). Dir. Alexander Payne.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Dir. Danny Boyle.

The Sound of Music (1965). Dir. Robert Wise.

Spellbound (2003). Dir. Jeffrey Blitz.

Stevie (2003). Dir. Steve James.

Super Size Me (2003). Dir. Morgan Spurlock.

Thank You for Smoking (2006). Dir. Jason Reitman.

There Will Be Blood (2007). Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson.

The Thin Blue Line (1988). Dir. Errol Morris.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Dir. Rob Reiner.

Tommy (1975). Dir. Ken Russell.

Traffic (2000). Dir. Stephen Soderbergh.

Tupac: Resurrection (2003). Dir. Lauren Lazin.

United 93 (2006). Dir. Paul Greengrass.

Up (2009). Dir. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson.

The Visitor (2008). Dir. Thomas McCarthy.

The Wall (1982). Dir. Alan Parker.

Wall-E (2008). Dir. Andrew Stanton.

Waiting for Guffman (1996). Dir. Christopher Guest.

World Trade Center (2006). Dir. Oliver Stone.

The Wrestler (2008). Dir. Darren Aronofsky.
Course Content

In this course, you will do the following:


Sentence skills test

Rhetorical précis

Careful readings of texts, both print and visual

Extensive research on films

Writing workshops of essays in small groups

PowerPoint presentations

Timed writing

Save Your Work

Do not throw any of your work away because it may be used for help in revising future assignments and for the final, in which you will reflect on the work you have done this semester.


We will be using MLA format for all papers. All assignments must be typed in a Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced with 1 inch margins.


Free tutoring is available through the RWS office in AH 3138. Call (619) 594-6515 to inquire about the location and hours.

Group Work

Much of this class is a workshop, in which we all participate in class discussions and writing projects. You are expected to contribute to the group discussion and may volunteer occasionally

to be a spokesperson or to do an individual presentation. Just as you would be expected to show up on time and prepared for your job, you are also expected to show up on time and prepared for group discussions in this class. Do not rely on your classmates to do your work for you.
Do not expect me to spoon-feed you answers, either. I don’t want you simply to cooperate, regurgitate, and graduate. Instead, work with your classmates and me to arrive at new and often exciting conclusions. Please remember that the classroom should be a safe and challenging learning environment and a forum for you to work through your thoughts and issues with the texts, as well as for you to listen to new diverse ideas of your peers and myself.
We may constructively criticize the readings and one another’s papers. Do not take comments as a personal attack on you but as helpful hints about ways to improve your writing skills. When you are evaluating another person’s paper, please be thorough and helpful.
We may generate discussions in class that could get heated. Remember that contentious discussions are often much more interesting than a simple consensus. That is what democracy is all about. Regardless of your own personal opinions about race, religion, political persuasion, sexual orientation, etc., please be courteous and respectful of each other. That includes refraining from talking when someone has the floor. If you are unable to accept this responsibility of being respectful of your classmates and of me, then this course is not the place for you and you may be asked to leave.

Classroom Conduct

During class time, please stay focused. Turn off your cell phones, don’t text message, don’t eat food (unless you have brought enough for all of us to enjoy!), don’t read the newspaper or distract yourself with extraneous materials.

If you must leave the classroom for some reason, there’s no need to interrupt the discussion to ask my permission; just give me a nod and quietly go.

Late Work

No late work is accepted. All work will be turned into me in class. If you attempt to put work in my office box or send it via e-mail past the deadline, I will not accept it (Unless you are ill and contagious…in which case, stay away from me and us! If you are sick, you may have someone put your work in my office box, which is located in the RWS Department office in AH 3138, but do not e-mail it to me. If you must miss class for some important reason, you may contact me to coordinate options. In this case usually I will expect you to turn in your work early during the class session before it is due, or you may give it to someone who will hand it in to me personally at the beginning of class or put it in my office box during our class session (though if they fail to do this, the work will be considered late and therefore unacceptable).

Please don’t miss the days your papers are due and are scheduled to be workshopped. Those are the most important days of the semester.
Please do not wait until the day your assignment is due to type it. Make sure that you save your work constantly, both on your hard drive and to a flash drive or disk, to be safe. Computer and parking or traffic problems are not valid excuses for late work.
If you have a valid health emergency, in which you are hospitalized (God forbid) or are contagious (Eeeek!), please let me know and bring me a doctor’s note. You and I may then make arrangements with you to get your missed work to me somehow.
If you have a problem with meeting deadlines, you need to address that issue now and get over it in order to succeed in my class. Meeting deadlines is an integral part of your grade, just as it is or will be in your job. Even if you are a strong writer, if you do not turn in your work on time, your grade will match your effort level and time management skills. Late papers receive zero credit. I have very little patience for “flakes.”
Personal Responsibility

Please understand that enrolling in an RWS class does not mean that you should expect me as your teacher to be solely responsible for your unique learning experience. I will do my utmost to ensure that you do improve your writing abilities and leave my class better equipped to handle future courses and job requirements. The best part of my job (and I LOVE MY JOB) is watching students grow. However, just as I give my teaching everything I’ve got, you must also put forth a great deal of effort to achieve the goals you set for yourself (not just the ones I set for you). Furthermore, you must also take responsibility if you fail to meet the demands of the course, rather than blaming this on other factors.

If I can help you to learn better, please make an appointment with me ASAP (I enjoy meeting one-on-one with students), and together we will come up with a strategy for your success that will satisfy us both. You may not love this course, but you will learn from it what you put into it and receive from it.
DON’T JUST DISAPPEAR. If you’re having a crisis, open up, and we’ll discuss options.
Absences and Tardiness

If you miss more than 3 class sessions or consistently come to class late you will find it difficult to satisfy the requirements of this course. No late work is accepted, so when you come to class late or miss work completely you receive zero credit. Computer and parking or traffic problems are not valid excuses for tardiness or absences.


Plagiarism is defined as using another person’s work or ideas without giving proper credit. Don’t even think about it! It is a serious offense with serious consequences, and it‘s just simply unnecessary and cowardly. If you copy someone else’s paper or use someone else’s words or ideas without citing them, you will be heavily penalized, which means you will receive an F for the course, I will report you both my dean and the judicial committee, and you could be expelled. If you borrow another’s ideas you must cite him/her both within your paper in parenthetical citations and after it in a “Works Cited” page. If you quote someone, you must put quotation marks around his/her words, in order to distinguish them from your own words and ideas. Make sure that you carefully cite all of your sources using proper MLA format. Please consult Keys for Writers for more information.

Bottom line: Take pride in your own work, your own ideas. That’s Aztec pride, folks: every assignment, every test, every essay! Ethos! Even if you receive a low grade for your work, at least it’s your work!

Course materials for this class are available on Blackboard, and I will be communicating with you through that program. Please make sure your e-mail address on Blackboard is current. If you miss important announcements because your account is not up to date, that is entirely your problem and you must attend to it or endure the consequences (missed work, lower grades, your classmates and me thinking you’re a flake, etc.).

To access Blackboard, go to www.blackboard.sdsu.edu and click on "user login." Enter your user name and password, and then find RWS 200 on your list of courses. When you click on the link to that class and access it, then look on the left hand corner to find the syllabus, assignments, course documents, etc.
Turn It In

All essays must be submitted to Turn It In, a plagiarism detection site on Blackboard, before they will receive official grades. Submissions are due on the same date your particular workshop group turns in their essays and these reports count toward your grade.

Special Accommodations

I encourage students with disabilities who may need extra help in this class, those observing religious holidays that conflict with class sessions, athletes (Go, Aztecs!) who may be out of town for games that conflict with class sessions, and others who need extra attention to notify me in the first two weeks of the semester so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible.

Final Examinations

The following is the university policy on finals: “No final examination shall be given to individual students before the regular time. If you find it impossible to take a final examination on the date scheduled you must make arrangements with the instructor to have an incomplete grade reported and must take the deferred final examination within the time allowed for making up incomplete grades.” Incomplete grades are given only to students who have completed the majority of course work. They are usually reserved for students who have health emergencies at the very end of the semester and are unable to complete the last project.


You will be evaluated in this class with letter grades and points. You will play an active role in determining what grade you will get at the end of the semester by how often you come to class, how prepared you are, how well you meet deadlines, and how much effort you are willing to put into the assignments.

For your assignments, you will receive check marks (plus, check plus, check, check minus, and minus), and letter grades, in addition plenty of written comments that will indicate where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Projects #1, 2, 3, and 4 are all worth 100 points. Project #5, the in-class final, is worth 100 points. All of the other work, including journals, tests, classroom activities, workshop participation, and www.turnitin.com submissions, are worth a total of 100 points (about 5 points each).
Your letter grades on projects are worth the following points:
















F=59 or below
I will be entering grades on Blackboard in the Gradebook section. To compute your final grade manually, either add up all of your points and divide them by a total of 600, or add up all of your number grades and divide them by 6.
For a final grade of “A-” (90.0-92.9%) or “A” (93.0 and above), you

Complete all work on time according to the prompt criteria with evaluations of mostly A, plus, and check plus.

Revise work several times, showing significant effort with each draft.

Produce written work that is consistently exceptional or show dramatic growth in writing.

Prepare all reading responses thoughtfully.

Actively participate in class discussion and group work.

Prepare all collaborative comments carefully.

Try not to miss any class sessions.

Do not come to class late.

Attend and participate in the final exam session.

For a final grade of “B-” (80.0-82.9%), “B” (83.0-86.9%), or “B+” (87-89.9%), you

Complete all work on time according to the prompt criteria with evaluations of mostly B and check plus.

Revise work several times, showing effort with each draft.

Produce written work that is consistently above average or show significant growth in writing.

Prepare all reading responses thoughtfully.

Actively participate in class discussion and group work.

Prepare all collaborative comments carefully.

Try not to miss any class sessions.

Do not come to class late.

Attend and participate in the final exam session.

For a final grade of “C-” (70.0-72.9%), “C” (73.0-76.9%), or C+ (77.0-79.9%), you

Complete all writing on time according to the prompt criteria with evaluations of mostly C and check.

Revise work minimally.

Produce acceptable written work of average quality, at times predictable, showing little growth in writing.

Prepare all of the reading responses.

Participate in class discussion and group work.

Prepare adequate collaborative comments.

Have no more than 3 absences.

Do not come to class late.

Attend and participate in the final exam session.

For a final grade of “D-” (60.0-62.9%), “D” (63.0-66.9%), or “D+” (67.0-69.9%), you

Do not complete every assignment and do not follow the prompt criteria well, receiving evaluations of mostly D and check minus.

Rarely revise work or revise minimally.

Produce unacceptable work of below average quality with unclear ideas and little or no textual support.

Do not complete all of the reading responses.

Do not participate actively in class discussion and group work.

Prepare inadequate collaborative comments.

Have no more than 3 absences.

Occasionally come to class late.

Attend and participate in the final exam session.

For a final grade of “F” (59.9% and below), you

Fail to meet even the minimal standards described for the “D” student.

Do not complete every assignment.

Rarely, if ever, revise work or revise minimally.

Produce unacceptable work of below average quality with unclear ideas and little or no textual support.

Do not complete all of the reading responses.

Do not participate actively in class discussion and group work.

Prepare inadequate collaborative comments.

Have more than 3 absences.

Consistently come to class late.

Do not attend or participate in the final exam session.

Plagiarize an assignment.

*** Note: If you consistently come to class late or skip sessions altogether, thus missing much of the work in this class, it is possible that you will receive a low grade, even if the work you do is strong and meets some of the criteria described for high grades.
That’s all, folks! Let’s have a great semester of learning!

Student/Teacher Contract

The purpose of this contract is to show that we both understand and agree to the rules of the course. Please sign and date below. I understand that:

No late work will be accepted, and failure to turn in work on time will lower my grade.
Chronic absences and tardiness will lower my grade since class discussions, group work, and in-class assignments cannot be made up.
Failure to participate in designated peer workshop sessions or failure to provide thorough and helpful comments to my peers will lower my grade.
Projects are due whether I attend class on the due date or not. If I miss one essay the highest grade I could possibly receive is a C for the class.
I understand that computer problems, including difficulties with my printer or lost or unsaved documents, do not constitute valid excuses for tardiness, absences, or late work.
I understand that my alarm clock not going off is not a valid excuse for tardiness, absences, or late work.
I understand that parking problems are not valid excuses for tardiness, absences, or late work.
I will do my own work and not plagiarize. I understand that if I plagiarize I will receive an F for the course, be reported, and could be expelled from school.
I will submit all of my out-of-class essays to Turn It In on Blackboard by their due dates.
I will not throw any copies of essays away since they will be used throughout the semester to revise other papers and for the final.
I will show my lecturer and other students the respect they deserve at all times. I will respect my audience (the people who read my papers and other projects in this class).
I will take personal responsibility for my own learning experience.
I will turn off my cell phone during class time so as not to distract my classmates or myself.
I will not pack up my books before class is over. My instructor is a college graduate with a watch who knows how to tell time.
I will not just disappear if I have a crisis. I understand that my lecturer is the mother of three kids, and that’s not cool to put any mother (my own or someone else’s) through.
I will not assume that the last comment was intended to reduce me to an infantile state, to insinuate that I am a kid. I know now that it was intended to make me laugh.
I will try to have fun this semester despite the fact that this is a required course. I will keep an open mind, allowing the possibility of actually learning something that’s practical and enjoyable before I graduate.
Signature: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________ Date: ­­­­­­­­­­­­___­­­­­­­_______________________________
Printed Name: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________ Desired Grade for RWS 200: ________________

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