"Writing is learned by doing." -- Gerda Lerner
Students will read, write about, and discuss essays, learning to recognize various rhetorical strategies and styles in order to incorporate them into their own writing. Students will write, workshop, and revise essays of different types using both personal experience and more traditional forms of support. Focus on developing voice and style, as well as successful strategies, organization, clarity, coherence and other characteristics of good writing. Journal, portfolio, oral presentation, and conferences required. Internet/e-mail strongly suggested.
Student Learning Goals: at the completion of this course, the student
will be able to:
· Demonstrate the ability to write clear, coherent and effective essays
· Adapt modes of communication to the audience
· Incorporate constructive feedback from readers to improve the written work
DiYanni, Robert. One Hundred Great Essays. New York: Penguin Academics, 2002.
Any current writing handbook (an edition published within the past 2-3 years) (Available for use in the Writing Center)
UNCG Composition Program http://www.uncg.edu/eng/comp
UNCG Speaking and Writing Across the Curriculum Site http://www.uncg.edu/cac/site_main.html
UNCG Jackson Library Resources for First Year Students
Guide to Grammar and Writing http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm
MLA/APA Style Guides http://library.uncg.edu/depts/ref/qil/styles.htm
More Style Guides:
Material on Reserve:
To help keep down the cost of texts for this course, I have pared down the required texts and I have compiled quite a few online resources. I have also placed some of your reading on reserve in the library and/or on e-reserve through the library's web page. The reserve desk is in the room to your right as you enter the library. That list should include at least the following:
Writing Matters -- personal copy
Writing Matters excerpts -- photocopy and e-reserves
Course Requirements (more detail provided at links):
-A 4-5 page essay: exploration, meditation, definition
-A 4-5 page essay: critique, analysis
-A 2-3 page essay: imitation of one of the writers/pieces from textbook with accompanying 2 page rationale
-A 4-5 page essay: persuasive, involving 1/2 personal experience/narrative and 1/2 outside research as evidence
-Significant peer editing and revision of all of the above
-A final portfolio containing all of the above, plus an analysis of your progress as both speaker and writer
-A final presentation based on portfolio
-Daily or weekly informal speaking opportunity in response to readings and/or other people’s statements
-3 individual conferences with me
Journal/Informal Writing: 20%
Group Work/Peer Editing: 20%
Contribution to the Class: 10%
Attendance: Regular attendance in class is essential to receiving maximum benefit from the educational experience. Students are to attend and be on time for all classes. In all cases of absence, students are responsible for making up all missed class work and for coming prepared to the class following the absence. It is also students' responsibility to contact me via email as soon as possible and preferably before the absence. Attendance will be a factor in calculating final grades. If you miss more than two (M W night) classes your grade will be lowered. Absences 3 and 4 each have penalties of one letter grade, and upon the 5th absence you will be dropped from the class. It is your responsibility as well to come to class prepared and to submit all assignments on time, regardless of absence. It is not possible to make up missed classes, especially group work. Additionally, arriving late is a distraction to the entire class, so anyone more than 5 minutes late will be marked absent.
Writing Requirements: Except for in-class assignments, all other assignments should be typewritten and double-spaced on clean paper with a one-inch margin on all sides (MLA format). Use a plain font type with no larger than a 12-point size. Make sure your work is free of typos and misspelled words, but, please, don’t use a computer grammar check unless you are really sure you know how to use it. The same goes for a thesaurus. Assignments must be turned in during class on the day they are due. No late papers will be accepted for any reason, and there are no opportunities to make up missed work. If you are having difficulties with a particular paper, please contact me before it’s due. No excuses will be accepted on or after the due date.
Journals: You should have one new journal entry completed for each class meeting for which readings are assigned. Entire entry should respond to either one reading or on a common aspect of more than one reading. I may also assign other, additional, and/or alternative entries. These are to be completed in time for the class meeting for which the readings are assigned. Since we will be doing much reading and writing, I’ve pared the entries down to only 1 page of word-processed material (double-spaced with one-inch margins). I will take up entries almost every Wednesday night. These entries are to be used to reflect on the reading for that day as well as to prepare your daily remarks, which we will discuss further. Journal entries will also sometimes be used as brainstorming for papers. All entries should show an active engagement with the text, not merely "I liked it" or "I hated it." More along the lines of why you liked it, hated it, found it confusing, funny, etc. You may want to compare the piece to one you’ve read earlier. You also may write about how the piece relates to your own life or the lives of people you know. Try to keep your entry at 1 page – go for quality of thought, not quantity of words. More on expectations of this component to be discussed in class.
The portfolio: Very similar to the one you did for ENG 101. If you need a refresher on portfolios, see Writing Matters on e-reserves. Since you will need to use items such as journal entries, self-evaluations, and in class writings to make up your total of 20 pages of polished prose, a UNCG composition program requirement, keep all informal writing you do both in and out of class for possible revision later. Due at the end of the semester, the portfolio is meant to not only represent you as a writer—your interests and abilities—but also to chart the progress you’ve made in this course. You should have a final reflection on your work (as a speaker and writer) and your portfolio, written as a letter to me and placed at the beginning of your portfolio. We will discuss the portfolio in more depth later -- I'm considering online portfolios (presented on your own webpage, on PowerPoint, or other similar medium).
Speaking requirements will include a daily remark about the readings or in response to a fellow student’s remarks, any group presentations, class discussions, and your final presentation. Be prepared to speak every day. If you miss a speaking assignment, there is no way to make it up. For instance, you cannot simply do your final presentation for me alone because it will not be the same as giving it in front of the class. In addition, everyone who speaks deserves an attentive audience. Show equal respect to your classmates by attending and paying attention to the presenter(s).
Group work: You will be working in small groups of two or three, usually of your own choosing, mostly involved in helping each other with QUALITY peer editing of drafts, but also with discussion and response to the assigned readings. Informal group members should shift from time to time. The purpose of group work is to provide a dynamic setting for collaborative learning, an approach to learning that has proven valid and compelling.
Classroom etiquette is extremely important for this course (and, really, for all your courses). It is extremely rude to carry on another conversation while someone else is talking, whether it is me or one of your classmates. If you can’t possibly pay attention, you should leave, and I reserve the right to ask students to leave the class at any time. Coming to class unprepared is also a lapse in etiquette, especially if the class is doing group work or peer-editing workshops. If you can’t adequately participate in the work for that day, I will ask you to leave. Also, I have an ethical responsibility for the well-being of the students in my class—mental and emotional well-being in addition to physical well-being. Therefore, I will also not tolerate verbal or physical intimidation of any kind from any student directed at anyone in this class, including slurs directed at someone’s race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political views. Anyone displaying rude or aggressive behavior will be asked to leave, and I may not allow disruptive students back into the class. Our class discussions may at times be controversial, so remember you are to address a person’s remarks, not the person. I will not tolerate personal attacks. If you are feeling emotional, leave class, take some deep breaths, then come back. Anyone launching a personal attack against another student will be removed from the class.
Evaluation is based on a variety of factors—meeting all course requirements, quality of written work, quality of participation, general improvement, and willingness to try new perspectives and take chances. Individual assignments will not be graded, although much feedback will be given. A large portion of your final grade will be determined by your portfolio, so you should be working on that throughout the semester (don’t put it off until the last possible moment). We will have at three individual conferences during the semester to discuss your progress and work on papers. If you have questions at any time, however, please contact me and we can meet before class or at another pre-arranged time.
Conferences are an integral part of your experience in this course. Attendance at all individual and group conferences is mandatory—missing a conference will count as a missed class. In the individual conferences, we will talk one-on-one about your writing and speaking progress—think of them as personal consultations with someone who writes for a living. As my on-campus time is limited, most conferences will be held just before class or during class time.
The Writing Center: This is a resource open to all students in the university for getting feedback on drafts in progress. You will receive help on brainstorming, planning, organizing, composing, revising, editing, and proofreading. I encourage you to take full advantage of this service. Once you have visited, the Writing Center will send me a note saying that you’ve been there—and I love seeing those notes! The Writing Center is located at 101 McIver and open M – Th 9am-8pm and F 9am-3pm. Call 334-3125 for an appointment or just drop in.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated: Plagiarism is the crime of
pretending that someone else’s words or ideas are your own. There are two types
of plagiarism: intentional and accidental. Each is serious and will not be
INTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM is the deliberate attempt to submit someone else’s work as your own. This includes turning in
-a paper you have copied from a book or magazine
-a paper you have borrowed from a friend who wrote it for another class
-a paper written (in total or in part) by another person.
If you commit this level of plagiarism, you will receive an “F” in the course and you will be reported to the Academic Integrity office.
ACCIDENTAL PLAGIARISM is the result of misunderstanding or misapplying the rules of documentation. It includes using an idea from a source without naming the source, using the exact words of a source without quotation marks, or following the words and structure of the source too closely as you paraphrase. Errors resulting from a misapplication or unawareness of the rules of documentation may result in the grade of “F” for the paper in question.
The best advice for writers using outside sources is “When in doubt, CITE.” Give credit to your sources. A recent handbook or the MLA links provided will provide direction on proper citation methods.
Weekly Schedule: This schedule will be adjusted from time to time (mostly to drop readings or change due dates). This list is not comprehensive, but it does include major reading assignments and due dates for essays. It is designed to give you a general idea of what you’ll be doing in this course from week to week. If an assignment has a web site link, explore that link prior to class.
M 8/19 Introductions, writing sample
W 8/21 Textbook Introduction p.1-19
Meet in McIver 231 Computer Lab to review syllabus and other course materials. Must have network passwords/codes. See Computer Lab assistants in large library lab for help with this.
M 8/26 Montaigne, "Of Smells";
Bacon, "Of Studies"; Angelou, "Graduation"; Fadiman,
"Never Do That to a Book"
Discuss paper #1
W 8/28 Barry, "Road Warrior"; Holland, "Naps"; Goodman, "The Company Man"; Didion, "On Self Respect"
M 9/2 LABOR DAY -- NO CLASS
W 9/4 Hughes, “Salvation”; Walker, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self”; Rodriguez “Heading into Darkness Once Again”
1st draft paper #1 due in class
M 9/9 Conferences
W 9/11 Conferences
M 9/16 Machiavelli, "The Morals of
the Prince"; Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence";
Forster, "What I Believe"
W 9/18 2nd draft paper #1 due to me
Discuss paper #2
M 9/23 Swift, "A Modest
Proposal"; King, "Letter from Birmingham Jail"; Orwell,
"Shooting an Elephant"
W 9/25 Emerson, "Nature"; Dillard, "Living Like Weasels"; Thoreau, "Why I Went to the Woods"; Petrunkevitch, "The Spider and the Wasp"; glance through Darwin, "Natural Selection"
M 9/30 DuBois, "Of Our Spiritual
Striving"; Baldwin, "Stranger in the Village"; Steele, "On
Being Black and Middle Class"; Staples, "Just Walk On By: Black
Men and Public Space"
W 10/2 1st draft paper #2 due in class
M 10/7 Conferences
W 10/9 Conferences
M 10/14 FALL BREAK -- NO CLASS
W 10/16 Franklin, "Arriving at Perfection"; D.H. Lawrence, "On Ben Franklin's Virtues"
2nd draft paper #2 due to me
Discuss paper #3
M 10/21 Wollstonecraft, "A
Vindication of the Rights of Women"; Stanton, "Declaration of
Sentiments and Resolutions"; Truth, "Aren't I a Woman?";
Gould, "Women's Brains"; Woolf,
"Professions for Women"
W 10/23 Kingston, "On Discovery"; Gates, "In the Kitchen"; Carter, "The Wound in the Face"; Brownmiller, "Femininity"
M 10/28 Lakoff, "You are What You
Say"; Quindlen, "Between the Sexes, A Great Divide"; Tannen,
"Different Words, Different Worlds"; Bateson, "Attending a
1st draft paper #3 due in class
W 10/30 Discuss paper #4
M 11/4 Library
W 11/6 1st draft paper #4 due in class
M 11/11 Mencken, "Portrait of
an Ideal World"; Sanders, "Under the Influence"
W 11/13 2nd draft paper #4 due to me
M 11/18 Conferences
W 11/20 Conferences
M 11/25 Discuss portfolios/presentations
W 11/27 THANKSGIVING BREAK -- NO CLASS
M 12/2 Workshop day in LAB?
W 12/4 Portfolio presentations -- LAB?
M 12/9 Last Day of Class -- portfolio presentations, continued -- LAB?
M 12/16 Exam Period 7-10pm