Instructor: Dr. Sarah Krive
Mailbox: German, Russian, and Japanese Studies McIver 337A
Office Telephone: 334-4697
Office Hours: T Th 1:30-2:30 and by appointment
Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing, 5th edition. Colombo, Cullen, Lisle, eds.
This course is an introduction to college-level composition and writing. You will be reading, writing, and revising essays on a wide variety of subjects, including current culture, with the goal of achieving greater critical thinking and writing skills. Be prepared to do research, share your ideas, and work with your peers. By the end of the semester you should be able to: communicate those arguments clearly and effectively, demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of intellectual discourse; weigh evidence, question assumptions, and evaluate the arguments of differing viewpoints.
1. 2 shorter papers (2-3 pages)
2. 2 longer papers (4-6 pages). All papers must be typed and double-spaced, with the pages numbered and stapled. Your name, the date, and the course must be listed on the first page. I will expect a high standard of mechanical and stylistic proficiency in your work. If you use spell check, do not rely on it alone. Proofread your papers carefully. Good grammar, organization, and clarity are crucial to good critical thinking.
3. In-class writing exercises; quizzes; reading responses.
4. Participation and attendance: The success of this course relies on the participation of everyone in it. The attendance policy is strict: any unexcused absences will lower your grade. Keep in mind that attending class requires that you participate. Come to class prepared, and be aware that in my effort to get everyone involved I may often call on people.
5. Workshops: You will be sharing your work frequently with your classmates, helping each other through the processes of brainstorming, drafting, and revising. Additionally, each student in the class will have a paper workshopped by the rest of the class.
6. Portfolio: In lieu of a final exam, you will turn in a portfolio at the end of the semester. This will consist of up to two revised papers and the fourth (last) paper. The revised grades will prevail over the original ones, provided that revision (and not mere editing) has been done. I will not accept revisions without their original papers attached, so be sure to keep all of your work!
In general, the grade breakdown will be as follows:
Each shorter paper: 10% each (total 20%)
Each longer paper: 20% each (total 40%)
Participation, attendance, in-class exercises, quizzes, reading responses: 40%
Deadlines will be strictly enforced. Late work will not be accepted. This course involves a great deal of in-class group work and discussion, the kind that is impossible to try to make up outside of the class; therefore if you miss a class you will not be able to make up that day’s in-class work. One exception: if you know ahead of time that you will have to miss class, you may make arrangements with me prior to your absence.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting feedback on your writing: it is especially helpful when you’re feeling stuck, or when you’re not sure how to revise. The UNCG Writing Center offers free writing help in 101 McIver. I encourage you to stop by any time during the semester, whether you’re just starting a paper or trying to finish it. Call 334-3125 to make an appointment, or just drop in. Please bear in mind that the Writing Center is there to help you, not to “fix” your papers, merely correct grammar, or tell you what to write.
Plagiarism is the deliberate or accidental use of someone else’s ideas or words and claiming them as your own. This includes copying material from another source, using another person’s paper, turning in a paper that you have already turned in for a different course, and using material without citing it. Plagiarism is an extremely serious matter and will result in the failure of this course as well as possible expulsion from the University. Please take very particular care when researching and documenting sources—we will be discussing this a good deal.
Keep all of your work organized and in one place. DO not through any of your work away! As stated above, I require original papers with the revisions for the portfolio; in addition, you never know when you may need to refer to an essay or list of ideas you wrote earlier in the semester. Take care to keep the syllabus and the schedule handy, as assignments are subject to change.
Student Learning Goals
At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:
· Interpret and evaluate argumentative discourse, including writing and speech
· Construct cogent arguments
· Communicate those arguments clearly, coherently and effectively
· Locate, synthesize, and evaluate relevant information
· Demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of intellectual discourse
· Weigh evidence and evaluate the arguments of differing viewpoints
· The skills knowledge, and/or attitudes engendered should be foundational and applicable to a significant range of discourse
· The proposal should indicate how the course will satisfy both these expectations