Eng 101 syllabus fall 2010


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Syllabus for the Fall Section of ENG 101

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Eng 101 syllabus fall 2010

  1. 1. English 101-060: Rhetoric and Composition I<br />Class Theme: What Can I write About? What Do I Believe?<br />Fall Semester 2010<br /> <br />Instructor: Dianna Rockwell Shank<br />Office: Room 205 (phone # 618-931-0600 Ext: 6685)<br />Email: Dianna.Shank@swic.edu<br />Class Web Site: http://shankeng101.blogspot.com/<br />MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday8:00 AMOffice HourOffice HourOffice HourOffice HourOffice Hour9:00 AMENG 101-060Room 3449:30-10:50:LIT 205-060Room MG1ENG 101-060Room 3449:30-10:50:LIT 205-060Room MG1ENG 101-060Room 34410:00 AMENG 102-060Room 342ENG 102-060Room 342ENG 102-060Room 34211:00 AMENG 102-061Room 34211:00-12:15:LIT 117-H60Room MG1ENG 102-061Room 34211:00-12:15:LIT 117-H60MG1ENG 102-061Room 34212:00 PM<br />Description<br />English 101 is designed to help students write papers for a variety of general and specific audiences. Students will learn to recognize features that make writing effective, and learn different strategies writers use while prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. Students will learn to read their own work more critically and to constructively criticize the work of others. The course also provides a brief introduction to the writing of source-supported papers and methods of documenting sources. <br />Class Theme:<br />You may have noticed a “title” for this class on the front page – “What Can I Write About? What Do I Believe?” One of the most common remarks I hear from students is related to the fact that they feel as if they have nothing to write about. As a result of this type of mental block, I often see students struggling to write essays that truly reflect/ represent how or what they are thinking. You might be taking this class because it’s a requirement for your degree (am I right?) but I know that you will need to communicate effectively (whether face-to-face or on paper) no matter what your career objectives happen to be. So this course is designed to develop and improve your ability to express yourself through spoken, and, more specifically, written communication at the college level. I want you to be able to use words in the most powerful way(s) that you can!<br />Keep in mind that I know that good writing comes about because of personal interest and relevance. I will do my best to make sure that you find “something” that gets your attention enough that you will want to write about it.<br />Prerequisites<br />Placement by ASSET or successful completion of any basic reading or writing courses required by COMPASS or ASSET.<br />Required Materials<br />We have two – cheap! – textbooks for this class:<br />This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (Ed. By Jay Allison and Dan Gediman) ISBN: 0-8050-86587 (about $14)<br />Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (By Mignon Fogarty) ISBN: 0-8050-8831-8 (about $14)<br />Also – you will also need the following materials:<br />A flash drive (computer storage device)<br />Access to the internet. The web site for our class is <br /><ul><li>http://shankeng101.blogspot.com/</li></ul>A valid email address (I would suggest your SWIC email address!) Please check it often!<br />Hard copies of one of your drafts (enough for everyone in the class)<br />Objectives<br />The objectives of this course are to improve students’ performance in the following areas:<br />Using pre-writing strategies to generate ideas for writing;<br />Writing texts appropriate for a variety of general and specific audiences;<br />Demonstrating more distinct voices as writers, while varying voice to fit different writing situations;<br />Thinking critically about the class readings, including your own writing;<br />Building papers around a central thesis, focus, or controlling idea, supported by concrete details, examples, and reasoning;<br />Revising your writing for “the big picture”: ideas, purpose, development, structure<br />Critically evaluating your own work and the work of others;<br />Incorporating ideas and quotations from other sources into your papers; demonstrating – in writing – an understanding of sources (using techniques like summarizing and paraphrasing);<br />Identifying and eliminating (from finished papers) most errors in standard edited English.<br />Also -- this section of English 101 is guided by three central concepts:<br />Writing as Inquiry: Many think of writing as an act of transcription; you have an idea in your mind and you simply transcribe it on paper. Research on the experience of real writers, however, shows that the act of writing is an act of learning, a process of discovering new ways to look at our worlds and out places in them. When writing is an act of inquiry – when it starts with dissonance and questions, rather than pre-fabricated answers – writing becomes a process of learning. Hence, a central goal in this course is to help you think about and experience writing as a mode of inquiry and discovery.<br />Writing as Process: This course stresses the process of writing – inventing and developing ideas, planning, drafting, and revising. The course will help you develop more awareness of your writing process, offering you a variety of strategies for improving that process at every level.<br />Collaboration: Writing is a social act, and whether you’re writing in an academic community, business community, and/ or creative community, all writing is (in one way or another) collaborative. Learning to write with others, to respond to others’ writing, and to write for specific audiences are vital goals for the class. It is my hope that this course will be a place where sharing ideas, generating and working through conflict, and engaging in a spirit of collaboration prevail.<br />In a nutshell, these are the activities we will be working on this semester:<br />Discovering writing topics  <br />Exploring topics  <br />Reading as a writer <br />Drafting papers <br />Responding to papers  <br />Revising your drafts <br />Analyzing your writing and that of others. <br />Copyediting <br />Requirements<br />I. Five College-Level Essays:<br />You will do a great deal of reading and writing in this course. The reading assignments – in most cases – will be related to a particular writing assignment. You will write for a variety of purposes – to clarify your thinking, to explore ideas, to consider how your ideas relate to the ideas of other writers, to explain ideas and issues to readers and to persuade readers to think or act in a specific way. Some of your writing will be in the form of revision (reworking, or re-seeing, previously written material). Ultimately, students will produce five finished papers, approximately 800 - 1000 words each (typed and double-spaced, of course; this is usually in the ballpark of 3-4 pages), most of which are the result of substantial revision. Students are responsible for keeping up with the class schedule and to ask any questions if confused. In order to pass the class, you must complete all five essay assignments. Assignments/ essays are due on the designated day. I do not accept late work.<br />One more important note: At least once this semester, you must bring enough copies of your paper for everyone in the class. So how does this work? You will have to share an essay draft you are working on so that the entire class can give you on-the-spot feedback. We will talk about how to do this later! Keep in mind that you will be assessing the comments that students give to you. You will not merely “clean up” your drafts after suggestions from your peers; you will make major alterations as your thinking clarifies and expands through writing, reading, and collaborating with your peers. The process demands diligence, cooperation, and an open mind, but the rewards will extend throughout your entire academic and professional life. Each author will “grade” their peers’ comments after each workshop – your grade is based on how seriously you took the exercise. Keep in mind that this exercise is a required part of the class. During the first week of class, we will figure out who needs to bring a draft when.<br />FYI: The final for this course will be a magazine-like publication that we will put together as a class – you will be submitting your best essay and we will use the talents of everyone in this room to create an interesting “read.”<br />II. Discussion Topics:<br />Discussion Topics will be posted each week on our class web site: http://shankeng101.blogspot.com All of the questions I post will be related to our readings (and essays). Sometimes I may have you spend time in class working on a discussion online before we talk in “real time.” Whatever the case, make sure that you come to class fully prepared for discussion. The purpose of the online discussion is that you think about the reading and learn from it. Writing about what you read enables you to process your ideas and provides an opportunity to analyze the writing of others!! The 10% grade is just secondary to the learning aspect of the discussion! <br />III. Attendance:<br />Further, since 10% of your grade is based on active participation (see below), attendance is required. Let me repeat this: Again, since 10% of your grade is based on active participation (see below), attendance is required. Absences will detract from your grade. According to the SWIC Catalog, “If you are absent more times during the semester than the number of times the class meets per week, you may be dropped from the course at the discretion of the instructor” (page 24). <br />Tardiness also disrupts class proceedings. Two instances of lateness count as one unexcused absence. So -- be on time! IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to let me know after class if you walked in late. This is so important! So don’t forget if you happen to walk in late!<br />Let’s Talk about Grades!!! <br />OK – Here’s the good news. You will not be given any grades in this class when you turn in one of your five essays. Yeah! No grades!<br />Instead of “traditional” grades, you will be assigned one of the following categories: (1) Publishable, (2) Editing Needed, (3) Revisable, or (4) Seedling. Each of these categories is explained in detail below. I use this approach to get us thinking more about the writing than the grade; furthermore, this leaves your grade open so that you can earn whatever you want by the end of the semester.<br />Publishable: These essays are superior in focus and support. They contain few, if any, errors in sentence structure and coherence, and they develop an interesting, insightful, tightly focused argument. These essays provide the reader with clear support and argumentation that fully justifies the author's conclusions, and they are written in a style that is both appropriate and sophisticated. The argument itself is both complex and fully developed.<br />Editing Needed: This type of essay is going in the right direction as far as solid focus and support, but there are significant issues with proofreading and editing which inhibit a “smooth” read. I will help you with the first page, but then you are on your own to “play” with the rest!<br />Revisable: In general, the support and explanation of the essay’s argument are either insufficient to convince the reader completely or to make clear how the author reaches his or her conclusions. The argument itself may also be somewhat general and/or incompletely developed. Specific support is either unclear or missing, and the focus of the essay may stray from its stated argument to make a more general and unrelated point. There may also be problems in coherence, complexity, or in overall development of the argument.<br />Seedling: These essays have a ton of potential but are just at the “start” of a college-level essay. This kind of an essay lacks a specific focus for discussion and has little to offer in evidence. These essays also contain problems at the level of sentence structure and diction. They can be marred by repeated mechanical errors and/or awkward constructions that obscure the essay's meaning. The argument here relies almost completely on assertion, with no clear support or development, and gives little or no analysis. Paragraphs contain weak or no coherence and/or focus. <br />Here’s the “contract” for the class:<br />Class GradeWhat You Have to Do<br />AAt least three “Publishable” essays and two “Revisable” essays or <br />“Editing Needed”<br />BAt least one “Publishable” essay and four “Revisable” essays or <br />“Editing Needed”<br />CFive “Revisable” essays or “Editing Needed” essays<br />DAt least three “Revisable” or “Editing Needed” essays (along with <br />two “Seedling” essays)<br />FSerious failure to fulfill the D Contract, coupled with lack of effort<br />You may revise any of your five essays. And the good news is that you can re-submit these revisions at any time this semester (the last day of class being your last chance!). However – you can only revise an essay two times so be sure that you put a lot of thought into your revision before re-submitting your essay. You may even want to come by and conference with me before jumping into the revising process.<br />Because I get confused easily, make sure that when you re-submit, the essay assignment (i.e. Essay #1) is clearly marked on the first page.<br /> <br />Along with these five essays, your grade will also be determined by the following two elements:<br />Writing Workshop (your comments)10%<br />Participation (online and classroom discussion)10%<br />Explanation of Assignments<br />Your five essays must be typed. Since our class meets in a computer lab, any extra class time that we have available will be used in the drafting or editing of any essay assignments. Be aware that the computers on campus may not be compatible with your computer at home. You might want to check on this early in the semester! <br />***Please note that once class has begun, no one should be engaged in any computer activity not directly connected with ongoing class work. No one should be checking or composing email, surfing the Net, instant messaging, completing work assigned in some other class etc. I reserve the right to count you absent for that class period if I catch you doing any of the above. Go for it before or after class, though!<br />In the top left corner of the first page of each assignment, please include the following:<br />Your Name<br />Dianna Shank<br />English 101-062<br />Assignment Description (Essay #1)<br />Date<br />I will be handing out detailed explanations of the five writing assignments as we encounter them!<br />Note on Academic Dishonesty<br />Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this course. Cite any information using MLA guidelines (for example, if at some time you wish to use a quotation from an essay that we read). For those seeking online help, the following web pages have some great MLA information:<br />http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/ (Online Writing Lab at Purdue)<br />http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/p04_c08_o.html (Author of a great textbook)<br />Keep in mind that Plagiarized work will result in a failing grade for the class.<br />The Americans with Disabilities Act<br />Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Special Services Center at campus extension 5368 (Belleville Campus) or campus extension 6652 (Granite City Campus) as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.<br />Pet Peeves<br />Never, ever ask me “Did I miss something important?” when you miss a class. Of course you did! You also don’t need to give me long, involved “excuses.” What you missed is more important than why you missed.<br />Give me at least a week to grade your papers. Asking me the next day if I have graded your paper will cause unneeded stress on your teacher. Seriously. I know you want your essay back ASAP.<br />I will not withdraw students after mid-term. If you fail to show up – or do not turn in all 5 of the essays – you will receive an “F.” <br />Turn off your cell phones in class. If a phone goes off in class, I may ask you to withdraw from the class. No joke.<br />Attending class on Day 2 indicates your willingness to abide by the policies and assignments outlined in this syllabus. You can’t argue with me later about the assignments. End of story.<br />Safe Zone Program<br />I am a member of the Safe Zone Program: Allies for Gender and Sexual Diversity. This means that I promise to provide confidential support for members of the college community who are gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, or cross-dressing. I am available to listen if you wish to talk or to refer you to appropriate resources in the community. <br />Writing = Money???<br />For the last two years, the English Department here at the SWGCC has offered a scholarship opportunity for any student completing (or enrolled) in ENG 101 or ENG 102. All you have to do is submit an essay that you wrote in one of these classes and you could win one $500 award! Pretty cool, eh? All you need is a 3.0 GPA and be either a part-time or full-time student here on our campus (only our campus!). You must apply online at www.swicfoundation.com or contact the Southwestern Illinois College Foundation.<br />Class Behavior<br />We are a community – a reading, writing, and learning community that happens to meet in a classroom. Universal respect is essential to the communal atmosphere. Good listening skills and good classroom behavior are required. I truly believe that the ideas we talk about can have a profound influence on the way you critically think – and write – about the world. Thus, you are expected to actively and productively participate in class discussions and activities. <br />You will, do a great deal of writing in this class, most of which will be shared with both your peers and myself; therefore, avoid writing about topics that you feel are too personal or that may incriminate you. But DO write about ideas that interest you and are meaningful to you. Often, the best writing is very personal. I realize that this is uncomfortable for some people, but it is also rewarding when you get thoughtful and constructive feedback. It is never appropriate to make fun of others’ writing or ideas, but honestly and respectfully challenging ideas helps writers clarify and further explain their ideas and arguments. As we get to know each other, I hope that you will be comfortable both sharing your work and responding to the writing of peers. This class requires a high level of cooperation and thoughtfulness as you work together to become better writers.  Let’s have a great semester!<br />