Office: 01D Petty
Office Hours: T&TH 1:00-2:00, 4:45-5:15
Rereading America(5th ed.)
English Composition is a one-semester course designed to give you practice in college writing and to help you become a better writer. To give you practice in college writing, the major assignments ask you to hone your skills at interpretationof texts, personal experiences, and ideasand to improve your writing through revision.
Reading is connected in close ways to the writing process, so this course will also involve a lot of reading. As you become more adept at interpreting texts, you will become more aware of the choices that writers make; this practice will help you make better choices as you write and revise your own work. Your growing awareness as a writer will enhance your skills in this course as well as your other college courses and in your life beyond college.
Attendance and Participation: Your physical and mental presence in the class is crucial. Please come to class on time, ready to participate in all class activities, including discussions. Since your presence is so important, please do not schedule other appointments during class time. You are allowed to miss two classes (for any reason) without penalty. After three absences, I may either withdraw you from the class or give you a failing grade for the course.
Writer's Notebook: You'll need a notebook to bring to every class, preferably a binder with looseleaf paper. You will use it to invent topics for papers, work on revision strategies, and experiment with freewrites, questions, and ideas. Everything you write in class will become part of your writer's notebook; feel free to write in it outside of class if you find it helpful. Selections from your writer's notebook will become part of your midterm and final portfolio.
Drafts: During the semester, you'll be writing multiple drafts of formal papers. While each assignment has been shaped in broad terms by me, each also allows you to reshape it to suit your own purposes and interests. You should type these drafts; use a font no larger than 12 point, MLA style headings, and default or smaller margins.
Learning Letters: About once a week you'll write a learning letter ("Dear Beth") that raises questions and discusses your reactions to the reading(s) for that week. Feel free to also ask questions about the class, talk to me about how your writing is going, and let me know your concerns about the course or assignments. These letters show me that you are engaged in the course readings and give me a way to keep in touch with you about your writing. I'll collect these letters at the beginning of class, and they may be handwritten. I won't be looking at your grammar or mechanics, just your thoughts. Aim for at least one full page.
Draft Workshops: Often you'll get together with a small group of your classmates and read each other's drafts. You'll offer responses to these drafts and discuss revision possibilities for the assignment. The aim is thoughtful, questioning response rather than critique. On workshop days, please bring copies of your draft for the group. Late drafts will receive no written comments from me or from your group and will ultimately lower your grade.
Conferences: At least three times during the semester, I'll circulate a sign-up sheet for individual conferences. These meetings will give us a chance to discuss your writing one-on-one, think about revision possibilities, and talk about any concerns or questions you have about the course. I'm also available for conferences during my regular office hours, or we can set up another time that works for us both.
Portfolio: Twice during the semester, at the midterm and again at the end, you'll hand in a portfolio of your work in the course. It will include your drafts, learning letters, and selections from your writer's notebook. The final portfolio may include writing you've done outside of this class. Since everything you do for and in the class may become part of your portfolio, please don't throw anything away. It's a good idea to save each draft as a different computer file, just in case you lose one along the way.
Academic Integrity: Please familiarize yourself with UNCG's Academic Integrity Policy, found in your student handbook, and expect to follow those guidelines in this course. Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will not be tolerated and will result in severe penalties (like failing the course, suspension from the university, etc.)
Writing Center: Located in 101 McIver Building, the Writing Center is a great free resource for you in this class. At any stage of the writing process, from inventing a topic to revising and editing, you can take your drafts here for some input. The Writing Center is open Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fri., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can make an appointment (334-3125) or just drop in.
As the course emphasizes revision and the writing process, you won't receive grades on individual assignments. Rather, your final grade for the course will be based on your portfolio and your participation. At midterm, I'll give you a tentative grade based on your work up to that point so you know where you stand in the course. If at any other time in the semester you would like to know what your grade would be based on your work up to that point, I would be happy to meet with you and tell you. In evaluating your portfolio, I will value your efforts at revision and taking risks in your writing as well as the finished, final drafts. Your performance in group work and participation in class discussions also form a significant portion of your grade for the course.
Note: RA = Rereading America, WM = Writing Matters
8/23 read: "Girl" in RA and "Reading Strategies" in WM; learning letter due
8/28 choose text for paper #1; if the text you choose is not in Rereading America, please bring 6 copies of it
8/30 read: your group members
9/4 Interpreting a textdraft #1 due; bring copies for group
9/6 conferences; read "The Writing Conference" in WM
9/11 Interpreting a textdraft #2 due; bring copies for group
9/13 read: "Rhetoric and the Writing Class" in WM and "The Seven Lesson
Schoolteacher" in RA; learning letter due
9/18 Interpreting a textdraft #3 due; bring copies for group
9/20 read: "Empowering Children in the Digital Age" in RA; learning letter due; 1st group presentation
9/25 Interpreting beliefdraft #1 due; bring copies for group
9/27 read: "Looking for Nature at the Mall" RA and "The Writing Portfolio" in WM; learning letter due; 2nd group presentation
10/2 Interpreting beliefdraft #2 due in MIDTERM PORTFOLIO
10/9 FALL BREAK
10/11 NO CLASS, BUT
10/16 Interpreting beliefdraft 3 due; bring copies
10/18 read: "Growing Pains: Beyond One Big Happy Family" in RA
10/23 Interpreting personal experiencedraft #1; bring copies for group
10/25 read: "From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Hos" in RA; learning letter due; 3rd group presentation
10/30 Interpreting personal experiencedraft #2; bring copies for group
11/1 read: "What We Really Miss About the 1950s" in RA; learning letter due; 4th group presentation
11/6 Interpreting personal experiencedraft 3; bring copies for group
11/8 read: "The Invisible Poor" in RA; learning letter due; 5th group presentation
11/13 rhetoric and technology: research on the internet-- a collaborative project
11/15 read: "Race at the End of History" in RA; learning letter due
11/20 collaborative writing project due
11/22 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
11/27 editing workshop
12/4 workshop portfolios; draft of portfolio introduction due
12/6 Final portfolio due