Course Design 1


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Course Design 1

  1. 1. DenaeEagenSample course design createdas a requirement for PRWR 6500/KSU MAPW ProgramEnglish Composition 1101C ONTENTSPrefatory Material .................................................................................................................................. 1 Institutional Context .......................................................................................................................... 1 Course Description ........................................................................................................................... 2Syllabus .................................................................................................................................................. 2Schedule of Assignments ...................................................................................................................... 5Assignment Descriptions ...................................................................................................................... 7 Literacy Narrative .............................................................................................................................. 7 Interview Project ................................................................................................................................ 8 Comparison Essay ........................................................................................................................... 10 Persuasive Essay .............................................................................................................................. 12 Formal Letters ................................................................................................................................. 13Critical Reflection ................................................................................................................................ 14Prefatory MaterialInstitutional ContextI chose Kennesaw State University (KSU) as the institution for my course design. KSU is a four-year university in the suburban area of Kennesaw, Georgia that serves students from northwestGeorgia and metro-Atlanta. “KSU enrolls the third largest number of students among the 19 four-year institutions in the USG, following the University of Georgia and Georgia State” (EnterpriseInformation Management).I designed the course as an introductory course for incoming freshmanstudents. The English Composition 1101 course is a general education requirement course housedby the English department of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. According to KSUsFall 2010 Course Enrollment Capacity Comparisons Report, English 1101 had 110 sections andenrolled 2,660 students. KSU students range widely in age and experience, from first-year studentswho have recently graduated high school to non-traditional students continuing their educationwhile pursuing their careers or changing occupations.I would anticipate the majority of students tobe first-year traditional students and a classroom size of 19-23. Ideally, the classroom would
  2. 2. include access to computers. However, workshop assignments could be printed and brought in forpeer review if computers are unavailable.Course DescriptionEnglish Composition 1101 focuses on developing research skills and building the confidence inexpository and argumentative styles of writing necessary to present one’s ideas in an academicenvironment. This introductory course is the first experience in university writing and is intendedto help students become comfortable with their own writing as well as encourage them to developthe competencies in invention, process, revision, style, and research practices. This particularcourse section also looks at the practical application of writing for each individual in academia, theworkplace, and beyond. Students will explore these themes through reflective writing in a literacynarrative and an evaluation of writing across the students’ intended academic disciplines.Significant emphasis is placed on correspondence and communicating with peers, professionals,and members of the community. Students will learn how to acquire information, engage withothers, and effect change by sharing their ideas in a written form through formal letters and apersuasive essay.Class lectures will focus on exploring genres of writing and questioning themeaning behind our communication and the situation of the readers who receive our message,whether through print, digital, or visual media. Emphasis will be placed on collaborative peerreview workshops to develop drafts into solid final projects.SyllabusGeneral InformationInstructor: Denae Eagen | Email:| Phone: 770-423-5998Office: EB 40 | Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9AM-4PMClassroom: EB 168 | Class Times: Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:45Course Description/GoalsEnglish Composition 1101 focuses on developing research skills and building the confidence inexpository and argumentative styles of writing necessary to present one’s ideas in an academicenvironment. This particular course section also looks at the practical application of writing foreach individual in academia, the workplace, and beyond. Significant emphasis is placed oncorrespondence and communicating with peers, professionals, and members of the community.Students will learn how to acquire information, engage with others, and effect change by sharingtheir ideas in a written form.Required Texts/MaterialsPalmquist, Mike. Joining the Conversation: Writing in College and Beyond. Boston: Bedford St.Martin’s, 2010. Print.ISBN: 0312312150
  3. 3. You must own a textbook by 8/25 to be prepared for readings. Please contact me if you areexperiencing financial hardship; there are two textbooks available for semester loan.TechnologyComposition 1101 will require frequent use of a computer with a word processor and internetconnection. There are computer labs in the Sturgis Library available to all students and computerlabs in the dormitories for residential students. You may transfer your work through email or byusing a flash drive. Do not store files on public computers.Black and white printers are available in the library. Printing requires having funds on your KSUcard.Library Hours:M-T 7AM-midnight, Friday until 8PM, Saturday 8AM-6PM, Sunday 1PM-10PMAttendanceClass attendance is required. Lectures, class discussions, and workshops cannot be made up.Students are permitted three absences without penalty. On the fourth absence, a student will losefive points off the final course grade. Each subsequent absence will result in an additionalfive-pointreduction.It is the policy of the KSU English department that any student who misses six classeswill not receive credit for the course. If you are aware that you will be absent on a certain day,please contact me by email prior to class as a general courtesy.LatenessArriving to class late causes a disruption for the professor and classmates; however, it’s better foryou to arrive late than not at all. If you arrive later than five minutes, it is your responsibility tospeak to the professor after class to ensure that you are marked present. Arriving to class up to 15minutes late on four occasions will result in an absence. Arriving 30 minutes late will automaticallycount as an absence. If the door is locked when you arrive, please knock quietly and then wait untilthe door is opened for you.ParticipationYou will get out of this course as much as you put into it. Coming to class prepared to discussreadings and engaging in the material enriches the learning experience for yourself and yourclassmates. You are not expected to speak up in every single class session; however, please beattentive and respectful to your peers, respond to their insights, and be confident enough to offeryour own ideas.Late Work PoliciesAssignments should always be turned in before class unless otherwise stated. Assignments will losefive points if turned in by the next class date and will lose a letter grade for every subsequent daylate. If you are having difficulty making a due date, I will consider offering an extension if youinform me at least three days in advance. Drafts for workshops are an exception and cannot beturned in late. You will automatically lose five points off your total assignment grade if you fail tobring a substantial draft for peer review.
  4. 4. Components of the CourseAssignment GradeDaily Participation 10%Discussion Boards 5%Literacy Narrative 15%Interview Project 15%Comparison Essay 15%Research Project 20%Formal Letters 20%Grading PolicyTop grades, A (90-100), will be earned by students who exceed expectations, go beyond the basicrequirements for each assignment, and actively participate during class discussions.High grades, B(80-89), will be earned by students who meet expectations, complete the assignments as required,and show effort during class discussions.Moderate grades, C (70-79), will be earned by studentswho meet some but not all expectations, complete assignments with difficulty, andsometimesparticipate during class. Grades below 70 will not pass the course.Extra Credit OpportunityYou may earn 5 points of extra credit on any single assignment grade by attending an academicconference on campus and writing a 1-2 page reflection onthe material covered and how you couldsee your future studies being presented, as well as proof of your event registration/attendance.You may earn 5 points of extra credit on any single assignment grade by providing a 5-10 minutepresentation of either your Literacy Narrative or Interview Project on Tuesday 11/29 or Thursday12/1.Academic Integrity/Plagiarism PolicyEvery KSU student is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, aspublished in the Undergraduate and Graduate catalogues. Section II of the code addresses theuniversity’s policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism and cheating,unauthorized access to university materials, misrepresentation/falsification of university records oracademic work, malicious removal, retention, or destruction of library materials, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student identification cards.Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handled according to the established proceduresof the University Judiciary Program, which includes either an “informal” resolution by a facultymember, resulting in a grade adjustment, or a formal hearing, which may subject a student to thecode’s minimum one-semester suspension requirement.Protect yourself by upholding the highest personal standards and doing your own work.Avoidplagiarism by developing your own ideas and properly citing all direct quotes and paraphrasing.Any ideas, words, data, images, etc. that are not your own should be attributed to their originalsource.
  5. 5. Disability PolicyKennesaw State University makes an effort to ensure thathigher education is accessible to allpeople. The disAbled Student Support Services is available to assist any student who may requireaccommodations or extended deadlines due to a disabling condition. If you would like to requestsupport, you must self-identity to the disabled Student Support Services office and providedocumentation according to their policies. For more information or to arrange an individualassistance plan, visit the disability services office or contact James V. Carmichael, Student CenterAddition, second floor, Suite 267; 770-423-6443.Schedule of AssignmentsDaily AssignmentsStudents earn daily participation grades for each class. The participation grade is dependent on thestudent’s attendance, attentiveness to lectures, and participation in class discussions and activities.Due DatesAssignment Due Date(s)Literacy Narrative Tuesday, 8/30Interview Project Tuesday, 9/29Comparison Essay Thursday, 10/20Research Project Thursday, 12/1Formal Letters Thursdays, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6, 10/27, 11/10Discussion Boards Tues 8/23, Thurs 9/1, Tues 10/18, Tues 11/8Instructional Summaries and Weekly Schedule Class Topics Readings AssignmentsWeek One First Day of Class Thursday 8/18 Grammar: Sentence fragment Syllabus and course Introductions requirements Course Overview Discussion: Who Makes the Rules? Chapter 1: Making ConnectionsWeek Two Last Day of Drop/Add is August 23 Tuesday8/23 Grammar: Introductory element comma Chapter 5: Writing Discussion board: Lecture: Genre and Audience, Reflective to Reflect Introductions Writing Thursday 8/25 Grammar: Compound sentence comma Chapter 2: Getting Lecture: Invention and Process Started Activity: Brainstorming for Literacy NarrativeWeek Three Tuesday8/30 Grammar: Comma splice Chapter 3: Reading Literacy Narrative Due Lecture: Thinking Critically to Write Discussion: How to request an interview/information Thursday 9/1 Grammar:Commas and adjectives Chapter 11: Using Discussion board: Who do you Lecture: Conducting Research and Interviews Sources& 12: plan to interview? Include a Activity: Practice Interviews Locating Sources sample of the email or phone call in which you ask to interview them and ideas of questions you might ask in the
  6. 6. interview.Week Four Tuesday 9/6 Grammar: Quotation marks and other Chapter13: Taking oddities Notes& 14: Lecture: Letter Writing Avoiding Plagiarism Thursday 9/8 Grammar:Run-on sentence Chapter 15: Letter #1 Due Lecture: Appeals-Logos, Pathos, Ethos Developing a ThesisWeek Five Tuesday 9/13 Grammar:Semi-colon Chapter 6: Writing Discussion board: Respond to Lecture: Community Writing to Inform all of peer literacy narratives. Thursday 9/15 Grammar:Colon Last day to conduct interviews Lecture: OrganizationWeek Six Tuesday9/20 Grammar:Ellipsis Chapter 20: Revising Interview Project Draft Lecture: Revision Strategies & Editing Activity: Peer Review Workshop Thursday 9/22 Grammar:Dashes and hyphens Chapter 17: Letter #2 Due Lecture: Editing Strategies Organizing & DraftingWeek Seven Tuesday 9/27 Grammar: Pronouns Chapter 9: Writing Lecture: Workplace Writing to Solve Problems Thursday 9/29 Grammar: Who & Whom Interview Project Due Lecture: Workplace Writing continuedWeek Eight Tuesday 10/4 Grammar:Split infinitives Chapter 10: Writing Email prof. your topic for Lecture: Visual and Audio to Convince or Comparison Essay before class Persuade Thursday 10/6 Grammar:Verb tense Letter #3 Due Activity: Watch Pecha Kucha PresentationsWeek Nine Last day to withdraw is October 12 Tuesday 10/11 Grammar: Dangling modifiers Chapter 8: Writing Lecture: Acknowledging Bias and Stereotypes to Evaluate Activity: Analyzing photos and photos for bias Thursday 10/13 Grammar: Subject-verb agreement Comparison Essay Draft Lecture: Integrating Quotations Activity: Peer Review WorkshopWeek Ten Tuesday 10/18 Lecture: Social Media Chapter 7: Writing Discussion board: How do you to Analyze use social media? What kind of comments do you leave on news and forum sites? How do you think comments and online discussions should be used? Thursday 10/20 Activity: Library and Database Introduction Comparison Essay DueWeek Eleven Tuesday 10/25 Lecture: Academic Writing Bring 2 topic ideas for Activity: Brainstorm and workshop topic ideas Persuasive Essay Thursday 10/27 Style: Language Variety Chapter 16: Letter #4 Due Lecture: Academic Writing continued Designing Your Discussion: Academic writing across Document disciplinesWeek Twelve Tuesday 11/1 Style: Parallelism Chapter 19: Writing Email prof. your final topic Lecture: Rhetorical Stances and Style with Style choice and 2 potential sources for Persuasive Essay before class Thursday 11/3 Style: Connotation Lecture: Style continued Activity: Invention work for Persuasive EssayWeek Thirteen Tuesday 11/8 Style:Diction Chapter 21: MLA Proposal for Persuasive Essay Lecture: Online Writing Due Thursday 11/10 Style:Clichés Discussion Board: Proposal Lecture: Documenting Sources Workshops Letter #5 DueWeek Fourteen Tuesday 11/15 Style:Sentence Variety Chapter 22: APA Annotated Bibliography Due Lecture: Conventions of Writing, MLA and
  7. 7. APA styles as more than citations Thursday 11/17 Style: Active Voice Lecture: Using Figures, Numbers, and DataWeek Fifteen Tuesday 11/22 Style: Tone Persuasive Essay Draft Activity: Peer Review Workshop Thursday 11/24 Holiday. No classWeek Sixteen Tuesday 11/29 Extra Credit Presentations Thursday 12/1 Last day of class Persuasive Essay Due Extra Credit PresentationsWeek Seventeen Tuesday12/6 No Final exam Thursday 12/8 No Final examAssignment DescriptionsLiteracy NarrativeA literacy narrative is a collection of your experiences learning how to read and write, focusing onkey moments from your earliest recollection to your current knowledge. A personal essay thatencourages you to reflect on the influences and attitudes affected your learning; the literacynarrative is unique for every person.Narrative Due Date:All Literacy Narratives are due on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.Post yournarrative in the “Literacy Narrative” discussion topic on GeorgiaVIEW Vista. Be prepared todiscuss your narrative during class.Responses to Peer Narratives: Respond to each of your classmates’ narratives on GeorgiaVIEWVista by class time onTuesday, September 9, 2011.Since you are responding to every classmate,you will need to pace your responses throughout the week so that you are able to complete themon time. Your response should be a reaction to the content and any insights that you gain from thenarrative about reading, writing, and literacy. Feel free to discuss shared experiences or differingpoints of view while remaining respectful, constructive, and encouraging.Description:Reading and writing come to each of us in different ways and our previous experiences shape ourabilities and attitudes toward literacy. It’s important to reflect on how you have developed as awriter and to consider carefully how you have experienced and participated in reading, writing, andmedia. Keeping these details in mind will help guide you as you refine your communication skillsand reshape the tools you’re already familiar with into writing strategies as a university student andan educated citizen.For your literacy narrative, you may write about specific events or achronological overview of your experiences.Learn more about writing a literacy narrative by reviewing the information on the Digital Archivesof Literacy Narratives Web site. Experience the narratives of others as shared through texts,
  8. 8. images, video, and audio. Consider sharing your own narrative with others after the assignment iscomplete.Additional information about composing a narrative is available on the Norton Field Guide toWriting Web site.Requirements:NarrativeCompose a written narrative of 2-3 (double-spaced) pages in length. You are encouraged to addmultimedia into your narrative through images, video, or audio, although you are not required todo so.ResponsesRespond to each narrative after the assignments have been posted on GeorgiaVIEW Vista.Grading:This assignment is worth 15% of your overall grade.An A (90-100) literacy narrative will meet all requirements and be crafted as a story with descriptivedetails that illustrate the significance of the events described and a reflection on how those eventshave influenced the student’s attitudes toward literacy.Interview ProjectIf the literacy narrative is a reflection of where you have been, the interview project is a speculationabout where you’re going in terms of writing.This is a robust project, and you should get an earlystart on preparing your research.Discussion Board Activity: Post a reply under the “Interview Subject” discussion board topic onTuesday, September 1.Interviews: The last day to conduct interviews and reasonably expect to complete your assignmentis Thursday,September 15.Draft:Before class on Tuesday, September 20, post drafts of your interview, reflection, and anyother documents to the “Interview Project” discussion topic on GeorgiaVIEW vista.Interview Project Due: Post all files to GeorgiaVIEW Vista before class on Thursday, September29.Description:Every field of study or occupation involves communicating with others and preparing documents.Doctors file reports and apply for grants, researchers publish their latest findings in academicjournals, and businesspersons create reports, proposals, and presentations regularly.While theform of written communication varies, strong research and writing skills are critical in everydiscipline.
  9. 9. You will prepare a multi-modal project that asks you to imagine what kind of practical writing youwill need in your discipline of study and/or future career. You will conduct an interview with anupperclassman in your intended major or a professional from your intended field of work. Thisinterview will give you an insider’s view of how either academic or workplace writing will matter inyour future. You will also compile a brief visual essay that adds context to your career goals.Finally, you will prepare a reflective essay and locate examples of the types of written documentsyou might create in your major or career.Requirements:Discussion Board ActivityShare your plans for your interview project, including whom you plan to interview and when theinterview is scheduled. Include a sample of the email or phonecall in which you ask to interviewhim or her and list any concerns you have about conducting the interview.InterviewInterview an upperclassman in your major or someone from the field you want to work in abouthow writing is used in that field and the type of documents that you will need to learn to create inorder to succeed. Transcribe the interview into a Q&A format.Visual EssayPrepare a 6-7 photo visual essay depicting the major you intend to study or the field in which youintend to work. Four of the photos must be your own work. Include citations to any photos forwhich you do not own copyrights.Each photo must include a one line descriptive caption. Try tofocus on a concept or story through the photos. A random assembly of images will not translate ameaningful message to your audience. The visual essay may be compiled in PowerPoint or anotherdigital tool. Each slide should focus on a different image. Do not use a template or text beyond thephoto caption and citations.Reflection EssayCompose a 2-3 page (double-spaced) reflective essay on how you expect to use writing in the futureand what steps you might take to prepare yourself for academic and workplace writing.Sample DocumentsAt the end of your reflection essay, include one page of sample documents. Consider this part ofthe assignment as a scavenger hunt based on the information you learn in your interview. Locatethree sample documents online that represent the type of writing you expect to create in yourmajor or field. Locate one academic journal related to your major or field. Locate the website forone relevant academic or professional conference.For each document, you must provide: URL Link Full Citation Description Purpose Audience
  10. 10. Brief Summary of ContentsGrading:This assignment is worth 15% of your overall grade.An A (90-100) essay will meet all project requirements. The interview should highlight theinfluence of writing in the chosen discipline. The visual essay should provide context for the fieldof study and demonstrate a coherent meaning as a series of related images. The reflection essaywill be a composed with a forward-looking analysis ofthe writing the student expects to beresponsible for in the future.Comparison EssayA comparison essay asks you to examine and analyze two similar but different subjects. You will beemphasizing how effectively (or not) the two disparate subjects work together for one purpose. Partof the challenge of a comparison essay is determining how you will organize your essay andstructure your ideas coherently. Refer to the handout on essay structure to keep your ideas ontrack while analyzing both pieces.Topic Choices: E-mail the URL for your chosen article to me through GeorgiaView Vista by11:59PM on Thursday,September 29. More than one student may choose the same article to writeabout.Draft: A draft of your essay is due before class on October 13 in GeorgiaVIEW Vista discussions.This should be a complete draft that is ready for revision. You will work in small peer reviewgroups and receive comments from me.Essay Due Date: All final essays are due on October 20. Please submit your completed essaythrough GeorgiaVIEW Vista mail before class.DescriptionToday’s writing is dynamic and is being published both on paper and online. Articles are oftenpaired with related videos to show multiple facets of a story and to lend credibility or interaction toa story. For this assignment, you will choose an article and an accompanying video from either TheNew Yorker or The New York Times. Both of these reputable and established newspapers haveincorporated online publication and produce professional quality articles and videos.You will analyze the article and the video in a comparison essay.Analysis Objectives: Style and rhetorical elements of the article and the video Organization of ideas and images Limitations of a standalone article or a standalone video
  11. 11. Effectiveness of combined presentationConsider these questions while you are working and come up with your own questions.How well do they portray the overall message? Is it consistent? What information does the videooffer that the article doesn’t, and vice versa? How do the article and video work together (or fail) toovercome their respective limitations and reach the reader/viewer? Are there elements of thearticle or video that you detract from their overall quality?Essay SelectionsFor The New Yorker, you will find selections under “Audio & Video.”For The New York Times, you will find selections under “Video” and must choose a video thatlists a “Related Article” beneath the video description.Example:The New Yorker currently has an article and video on Guillermo del Toro, thefilmmaker behind Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. This is an eligible choice for your essay topic.RequirementsEssays should be 3-5 pages double-spaced (MLA format). See the Purdue Online Writing Lab orreference your MLA handbook for guidance on correct formatting. Use proper source citations forany quotes or paraphrasing in your essay. Include a works cited page that lists your chosen article,video, and any additional sources. Consider your audience as your classmates and professor.GradingEssays will be evaluated on your ability to structure complex ideas coherently, synthesize examplesand sources into the essay, draw specific conclusions from analysis of the pieces, and use grammarand language mechanics properly.This assignment is worth 15% of your overall grade. A (90-100) B (80-89) C (70-79) D (60-69)/ F (0-59)Structure and Well organized, strong Fair organization. The Limited organization, Organization is difficultOrganization transitions. The comparison is easy to weak transitions. The to distinguish. Meaning structure of the follow, but the structure comparison is is lost because the comparisons adds does not obviously add sometimes difficult to comparison lacks clarity and meaning to to the essay. follow. structure. the argument.Evidence and Examples Essay uses evidence Essay uses evidence; Essay uses limited Evidence is difficult to effectively in the some examples and evidence. Examples and discern, or quotes and arguments, quotes are not quotes are improperly examples are not incorporating examples integrated smoothly into used or not relevant to present. Essay does not and quotes from both the text or essay focuses the material. Essay present a comparison sources seamlessly. too heavily on one neglects one source. between sources. source.Grammar and Style Essay is free from errors Essay has a few errors; Essay has many errors Grammatical errors and has diverse not enough to inhibit that make it difficult to disrupt reading severely, sentence variety. reading, sentence read, sentence variety is very limited sentence variety is present. limited. variety.Length and Format Essay is the appropriate Essay meets only Essay is not the Essay falls short of length and all sources minimum length appropriate length AND minimum length and/or
  12. 12. are cited properly. requirements OR sources are not cited sources are not cited at sources are not cited properly. all. properly.Persuasive EssayAn effective argument is hard to find when most of what we hear on a daily basis is biasedadvertisements, political stances, radio announcers, and bloggers. However, a strong argument canpersuade readers with a clear claim that is supported with reason and evidence.Topic Ideas: Bring two topic ideas for your persuasive essay to class on Tuesday, October 25.Final Topic Choice: Email me your final topic choice and two potential sources for yourpersuasive essay before class on Tuesday, November 1.Proposal: Post your proposal for your persuasive essay to the Discussion Board topic "PersuasiveEssay Proposals" on GeorgiaVIEW Vista before class on Tuesday, November 8.Workshop: Respond to your partners proposal draft by Thursday, November 10.Annotated Bibliography: Email your annotated bibliography for your persuasive essay to methrough GeorgiaVIEW Vista on Tuesday, November 15.Draft: Bring three copies of your persuasive essay draft to class on Tuesday, November 22 for peerwork shopping.Persuasive Essay: Post your final draft of the persuasive essay to the Discussion Board topic "FinalPersuasive Essay" on GeorgiaVIEW Vista before class on Thursday, December 1.Description:You will prepare a 3-4 (double-spaced) page essay that argues about a topic important to you orrelevant to your area of study. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, review Chapter 10and the project ideas 1-5 on page 453.Requirements:ProposalCompose a proposal 1-2 (double-spaced) pages in length that outlines your topic and goals foryour persuasive essay. Include a sample of your claim, reasoning, and evidence that you will use tostructure your argument in your final essay.Discussion Board ResponseRespond to your partner’s proposal and provide constructive criticism to help guide him or her inhis essay development.Annotated Bibliography
  13. 13. Provide information on three sources that intend to use for your persuasive essay. Provide aparagraph for each source that summarizes, evaluates, and reflects on the quality of the source. SeePerdue OWL Web site for more information on creating annotated bibliographies.Persuasive EssayCompose an argumentative essay 3-4 (double-spaced) pages in length that takes a stance on anissue important to you or that you find interesting and persuade your reader to take action.Grading:This assignment is worth 20% of your overall grade.An A (90-100) essay will exhibit a well-defined claim, solid reasoning, and evidence that connectsand supports the reasoning. The essay will demonstrate awareness of audience and purpose. Theargument will have integrity and will not rely on fallacies or false claims to justify its point.Formal LettersIn the context of this course, a “formal letter” is a written correspondence that is meant to informand/or influence someone. It ismore than a simple email, although it may be brief in length. Theseletters are sometimes the most important incidents of writing that we ever prepare as citizens.Letters are the way that we voice our dissent, offer our support, or request help when we are inneed. Clarity, tone, and awareness of audience are imperative in correspondence.Email each of your letters to me through GeorgiaVIEW Vista before class on the respective duedates.Letter #1: Thursday, September 8Letter #2: Thursday, September 22Letter #4: Thursday, October 6Letter #5: Thursday, November 10Description:The most common way that you will use writing in daily life is when communicating with others.Whether it’s through letter, email, instant message, online comment, or status update, you’reseeking reactions from the people around you. The words you use and the way you use thosewords can affect change in your life and in the lives of others if you write carefully.Each letter will be a 1-2 (double space) page assignment that asks the student to write a form ofcorrespondence, either by email, letter, comment, or other medium. Examples include a letter tothe editor, a letter of complaint, a letter of referral, requesting information or support from anorganization, writing a letter of suggestion to a business, a cover letter for a job application, etc.Requirements:LettersComposefive letters, each1-2 (double-spaced) pages in length.You are free to choose the topic ofeach letter; however, each letter must have a unique purpose and audience (i.e. you cannot write
  14. 14. two letters of complaint). Clearly identify the purpose and audience of the letter in the body ofyour email when you submitthe assignment through GeorgiaVIEW Vista.Grading:This assignment is worth 20% of your overall grade. Each formal letter is worth 4% of your grade.An A (90-100) letter will demonstrate strong awareness of audience while maintaining anappropriate tone, clearly elaborating the intended argument, and demonstrating the significance ofthe argument (i.e. why the reader should take the recommended action).Critical Reflection The responsibilities placed on the English Composition 1101 course are broad, from therequirements listed on the KSU English 1101 website, the texts in “A Guide to Composition Pedagogies”and “The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing,” and the discussions we have covered in “TeachingWriting in High School and College.”It seems overwhelming that one course could satisfy all the goals ofthe discipline and prepare students for the demands of the academic community. Narrowing the scope ofthe course design was a necessary challenge. I felt that honing research skills was a responsibility of an 1102course, not 1101, and students will learn writing skills specific to their disciplines as they advance in theirstudies. This conclusion left two general options for my course design: teaching students to discover throughwriting or teaching students to engage in communication. I chose the latter and wondered if I wasshortchanging my potential students until I came across an essay entitled, “The Pedagogy of Writing acrossthe Curriculum” by Susan McLeod. In the essay, McLeod acknowledges that teaching authentic voicethrough expressive writing might not prepare students for writing in other studies (150). Instead,compositionstudies are broken down into two complementary strategies: writing to learn and writing to communicate. Writing to learn employs journaling and free writing to help a student organize her thoughts andquestion the material. Writing to communicate involves writing with a specific reader in mind andconsidering the qualities of a specific genre or discourse community. This approach acknowledges theshortcomings of a composition teacher’s expertise in multiple disciplines; however, it asserts the importanceof trying. “That is not to say that we as writing teachers can’t make students aware that there are different
  15. 15. discourse communities and teach them some strategies for asking the right questions about discourseexpectations in their other classes” (McLeod 154).The focusof my course design is writing that engages thestudent with his or her environment as a student, citizen, and future employee. My course design builds upon writing to learn through the literacy narrative. The first assignmentfor students will be an expressive reflection essay that encourages them to discover themselvesas writers andto analyze how literacy is a part of their daily lives. It is my hope that the literacy narrative will help de-mystify writing and the perception that one must have a special skill in order to write well. My firstexperience with the literacy narrative was in Dr. McGrath’s graduate course, and it was enlightening toreflect on how each student had different experiences in education and developed unique attitudes towardsreading and writing.The exploration of where students have come from in terms of reading and writing willtransition into the next assignment, the interview project. As abridge from writing to learn into writing to communicate, students will explore their futurepaths in writing through the interview project as their second assignment. Since I can only provide a limitedperspective into other disciplines, students will consult with individuals more informed than I am; studentswill interviewupperclassmen in their intended major orprofessionals in their future career.The interviewexperience is a challenge on its own. I recallmy own anxiety the first time I was required to interviewsomeone for a project. Despite the complications of scheduling an interview and the nervousness of actuallyleading the discussion, I learned valuable insights about the field of editing when I interviewed Dr. BethGiddens during my undergraduate studies.I would want students to come up with their own questions;however, I may provide a list of five critical questions that they should includein order to keep the interviewon track. The interviews should give students a better idea of how writing is important across disciplinesandoffer them insights intowhich skills will be most important for them to develop. Alongside the interview is a visual essay that asks students to envision the environment where theywant to learn or work. This exercise is as much about communicating meaning through visuals as it is aboutempowering students to visualize their future. College life is uncertain for so many freshman students. Ihope that this project will give them a safe way to play with ideas of their future and look forward to their
  16. 16. upper level studies and career goals. The final stage of the project is a brief reflection essay that asks them todraw conclusions from their interview experience and speculate about how writing will be a part of theirfuture. I only hope that no student concludes that writing is inconsequential to her degree. Continuing the idea of visual literacy, student will approach visuals in a new way in their thirdassignment. The comparison essay asks students to continue thinking critically and to begin applying theirideas as analysis. Students will evaluate a modern article from the New York Times or the New Yorker.Using a current publication shows that writing isn’t stagnant. It is published daily in newspapers around theworld and isn’t simply resting in books and waiting to be picked up. The assignment asks students toevaluate a video related to and published in tandem with the article. While the segment on visual literacy isbrief, I believe that it’s important for students to consider the images that are shown to them. As CynthiaSelfe claims, writing instructors should explore visual media because “we run the risk of makingcomposition studies increasingly irrelevant to students engaging in contemporary practices ofcommunicating” (Self 483). My focus isn’t necessarily to teach them how to use images. They can takespecialized courses for that knowledge. Instead, I want my students to evaluate what message an imageshares that the text doesn’t and vice versa. This analysis doesn’t require a deep background in art or design.Simply questioning the images and looking more closely at the details and intent of the image can reveal awealth of information. There is meaning within what is shown and what is hidden.Part of my fascination and insistence onteaching the visual comes from a recent reading of Iraj Omidvar’s article “A Study of Photographs of Iran:Postcolonial Inquiry into the Limits of Visual Representation.”The article focuses on howimages used torepresent ideas and people are able to reinforce stereotypes inadvertently (or purposefully).Mostsignificantly, Omidvar describes a Socratic approach to teachingthat encourages students to question deeperwhile taking into account the context of the images and their own knowledge and beliefs.The teacher playsan almost antagonistic role to help students think deeper and imagine new possibilities without settling forthe first conclusion that comes to mind (139). This same type of questioning and critical thinking is presentin feminist and cultural studies theories. It encourages a contextual analysis of our condition, not just our
  17. 17. writing, and that is part of what I would like to infuse into my lectures. A simpler perspective is that althoughI cannot teach all of the answers, I would want to teach students how to ask questions and thus discover theanswers on their own. The final assignment for students is a persuasive essay. I originally intended for the final assignmentto be a research essay; however, I felt the assignment too intimidating. A persuasive essay is similar in focusbut less formal. Students will follow the same pattern as composing a research essay, from invention toresearch and drafting to revising.It will be a starting point from which students can develop their skills forresearch projects in the 1102 course. Throughout the semester, students will write five formal letters thatfollow the goals of writing tocommunicate. The letters are brief, but students will write to a specific audience, not the professor. Eachletter will fulfill a unique purpose such as a letter to the editor, a letter of complaint, or a letter to a business.The intent of the assignment is to show students a form of communication that is pertinent to their lives ascitizens, official correspondence that informs others of their dissent, support, and even request assistance. Iwonder about the relevance of this assignment because correspondence is becoming briefer through socialmedia; however, I still feel it’s important that students be able to communicate to an audience of authoritywith honesty and confidence. Writing persuasively, with an understanding of audience, purpose, and tone iseven more important when correspondence requires clarity and brevity. This concludes the summary of major assignments for the course design. The lectures and in-classassignments correspond with the schedule of assignments, as well as readings from the textbook, Joining theConversation: Writing in College and Beyond by Mike Palmquist.I chose the Palmquist textbook because Iliked the idea of communication as a conversation. The textbook has a guidebook approach that easesstudents into the idea of genres and the roles that writers can take on when they write for differentdisciplines, such as reflective, informative, analytical, evaluative, problem-solving, and argumentative writing.The detailed breakdown of genres walks the reader through invention, process, organization, drafts, andrevisions, as well as project ideas. The later sections of the textbook provide detailed suggestions forworking with sources, working through the writing process, incorporating stylistic choices, and
  18. 18. documentation. It is a complete enough textbook that a student could use it as a reference tool after thecourse is completed; this is the best-case scenario purpose for textbooksto serve. In the lesson plan, I have coordinated each chapter on a specific writing genre with a relevantsetting, such as community writing, workplace writing, and academic writing. This gives me the freedom tocustomize my lectures and utilize the textbook as a reference without teaching directly from it. I chose toteach the textbook chapters out of order so that I could better prepare students for the assignments. Forexample, having students read Chapter 5: Writing to Reflect early on so that they are better prepared towrite the literacy narrative. Ideally, I would have secondary readings available online that students could alsostudy; however, I’m not yet sure what I would suggest. I would like to incorporate regular readings fromhigh-quality newspapers and professional websites. I’ve incorporated daily grammar lessons for the majority of the semester and style lessons for thelast few weeks. This concept was inspired from a reading I couldn’t relocate, in which the author suggestedteaching a grammar lesson each day and only grading what she had taught. I am not confident that strictgrading of formal errors improves a student’s writing unless the errors severely interfere withcomprehension.I do know that people forget. It’s hard to retain all the intricacies of grammar, so I’d like tooffer a brief refresher at the beginning of class each day. I drew the grammar topics from Lunsford’s lists offormal errors, although I was unable to include them all. When grading papers, I would prefer to markpatterns of error and help students to understand why the errors confuse the meaning of theirwriting.Likewise, short lessons on style may prove helpful at the end of the semester as students arepreparing their final papers. Lectures and discussions or activities fulfill the remainder of the class period, depending on theday.Additional activities would likely improve the quality of the course design and more in-class writingassignment would be beneficial for students. Overall, I feel that I kept to a course design that is quite safeand relies on the textbook as a guide, even if I present the chapters in a redefined order. I would want toexpand the course design once I had more experience and include more readings and resources. For now,the best outside resource that I have includedinvolves Pecha Kucha presentations, five-minute presentations
  19. 19. of images and audio, which I felt would help show students what can be done with a brief span of time anda complex topic.One strength of the course design is the inclusion of peer review workshops, in-class andonline, that allows students to read the writings of their peers’ and to offer constructive feedback. From my experience with the course design project, I’ve concluded that composition courses arecomplex endeavors. I do not envy the student who has to take Composition 1101 with a professor whodoesn’t have the desire to teach the course or a solid grasp on how a student will benefit from their lessonplan. Unlike upper division courses, which can focus on specific areas, an entry-level writing course isscattered and tries to accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time. The 1101 course is also competingfor a distracted attention span that is busy trying to navigate the drastic differences of college life from highschool—even though the 1101 lessons are supposed to provide students with skills to last the next fouryears.It’s a rough life for one little course, butI do believe that teaching writing can make a difference in astudent’s attitudes towards written communication and show them new ways to engage with theirenvironment through literacy. Constructing a meaningful argument is intimidating, but it’s very rewardingwhen done well. Works CitedConnors, Robert J. and Andrea A. Lunsford. “Frequency of Formal Errors.” Selfe,Cynthia L. The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing. Ed. Cheryl Glenn and Melissa A. Goldthwaite.6th ed. Boston, NY: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2008. 479-505. Print.McLeod, Susan. “The Pedagogy of Writing Across the Curriculum.” A Guide to Composition Pedagogies.Ed. Gary Tate, Amy Rupiper, and Kurt Schick. New York, NY: 2001. 149-164. Print.Omidvar, Iraj. A Study of Photographs of Iran: Postcolonial Inquiry into the Limits of Visual Representation." Writing the Visual.Ed. Carol David and Anne R. Richards. West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor Press, 2008. 124-145. Print.Palmquist, Mike. Joining the Conversation. Boston, NY: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.
  20. 20. Selfe,Cynthia L. “Toward New Media Texts: Taking Up the Challenges of Visual Literacy.”The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing.Ed. Cheryl Glenn and Melissa A. Goldthwaite.6th ed.Boston, NY: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2008. 479-505. Print.