Instructor Michelle Johnson
Office Hours: Petty 01D, MW 10-11:30
334-3294 (office phone)
English 101: Risky Writing
English 101 is not only a writing class, but it is also a thinking, reading, and speaking course. This semester we will tackle the theme of “Risky Writing.” We will read texts that challenged the writers and now challenge us to be better readers, writers, and ultimately better people. We will write about risky topics, about ourselves, and about our society. We will write in risky ways, expanding style and form and playing with language. It is my belief that all great writers risk something. This semester, on your journey to become a better writer, you will risk but you will also grow.
Student Learning Goals: By the completion of this course, you should be able to write better, revise better, speak better, and read writing better. From our readings, conversations, group work, and writing, you should be able to interpret and evaluate texts, construct and communicate effective expositions, locate and synthesize relevant information, and demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of various discourses.
Callaghan & Dobyns, A Meeting of Minds
UNCG Composition Dept., Writing Matters
Additional Readings on Ereserve
Portfolio folder w/prongs (not a notebook)
Computer Access, Email & Internet
Final Portfolio 50% (Includes twenty pages of polished writing.)
Participation in class is crucial to your development as a writer. Your voice, your actions, and your engagement with the texts and with each other count for 50% of your grade. You will lose participation points for each activity or assignment you do not complete. Major participation assignments include:
1. Read-Around – Each student will read at least one long paper to the class, and each class member will give a written and oral response to the student concerning the paper. Twenty-four hours before your Read-Around, you need to make arrangements to give Mrs. Johnson a copy of your paper so she can duplicate it. If you do not have it ready 24 hours before your Read-Around day, you will be responsible for making enough copies for each student and the teacher. Read-Around days cannot be rescheduled.
2. Writing Leader— Each class member will take a turn being the in-class writing leader. This person will bring in a topic for the class to write about for the first 10 minutes of class. The leader’s responsibilities for the day include: 1) bringing in a topic 2) sharing it with the class 3) keeping time, and finally, 4) leading a brief discussion of what the class wrote. Bring in topics that are closely or loosely related to what we are reading and writing. Examples include: poems, news items, photographs, songs, brief video clips…whatever, as long as we can make a correlation with the readings. (If you will need special audio-visual equipment, let me know ahead of time so we can be ready). Just find something that catches your attention and you think others might be interested in, too. I will lead the class once, so you will have some idea of what to do. **Important** You should bring in something—like newspaper article, website to look at, song to listen to, video to watch, story to read, etc. Do not come empty-handed. Whatever text you use should be accessible to the students at a later date in case they want to use it in their portfolio. If it is an article, bring copies for everyone, unless it is on a webpage.
3. Short/Informal Writings – Keep all of your in-class and out-of-class writings together because you will need them come portfolio time. Normally, in-class writings are five to ten minutes and are free-form. You do not need to worry about spelling or grammar. Just write as much as you can without stopping. Out-of-class writings may be hand-written or typed, depending on the instructions, but they need to be more focused and “tidy” than in-class free-writes. Basically, they should read and look like you spent at least 20 – 30 minutes thinking about and responding to the prompt. Don’t try to scribble something down immediately before class. Your haste will show! I will randomly collect informal writings.
4. Individual/Group Reports– Occasionally you will work in groups to complete assignments. You will also report back to the class. Each person is expected to contribute equally to the group. If you do not, you will not receive full participation credit. You cannot count on others to give you a good grade. I look at individuals and at groups.
5. Weekly Responses – You will type ten responses during the semester.
I will give you a prompt, and you should spend about 20 -30 minutes typing
a response. These papers will help you write longer essays for your portfolio.
And, although I will not respond to them as closely as I respond to “formal” essays,
you still need to put a lot of effort into them. Weekly responses give you
a chance to explore your ideas about a topic. You might read your paper to
the class or a small group the next day, or you might turn it in to me. In
each case, you will get feedback from a classmate or from me about what you
wrote. The feedback should help you expand and revise your paper if you choose
to include it in your portfolio. Response # 9 (Read-Around Reflection) and
#10 (Writing Leader Reflection) will be turned in the class period after your
Read-Around or Writing Leader Presentation.
All weekly responses must be typed. Shoot for at least one-full page; however, you may type as many as you like. Follow the MLA format for typing all papers, unless otherwise noted. See page 508 in A Meeting of Minds for an example of MLA formatting.
Remember, weekly responses are not essays. They are short, typed writing assignments that require you to focus on one idea and explain or describe what you mean clearly. Make them SHORT, VIVID, & INTERSTING.
6. Conferences – You will meet with me at least two times during the semester. Each time we meet you should bring your work thus far and questions or concerns to discuss.
Formal Essays: You will write three formal essays during the semester. Each paper will be between three to five pages. You will choose a topic, write a prospectus, get me to approve your prospectus, and begin drafting your paper. All of our readings, weekly responses, class discussions, and informal writings will aid you in writing your essays. I encourage you to use anything that we have done in and out of class to help you write your paper. Formal essays are required. If you do not turn the required draft in to me, you cannot include it in your portfolio (which is required). Your final grade will most likely drop by one full letter grade. In short, turn in your formal essays on time. If you have any concerns about any work that is due, talk to me before the due date.
Attendance: You are granted five absences. On your sixth absence, you will receive an F in the course, unless you withdraw yourself before the deadline. You cannot get participation points for the days you are absent. Turn your work in early if you plan to be absent.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the crime of pretending that someone else's ideas and words are your own. This is a serious offense that could result in failing the course or expulsion from the college. Visit http://studentconduct.uncg.edu/policy/academicintegrity/ for the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
1. Tardiness – Tardiness not only affects your learning but the learning of others as well. Because our course is only fifty minutes long, we must use all of our time wisely. I will begin each class promptly. Three tardies constitute an absence. More than 10 minutes late (or leaving 10 minutes early) constitutes an absence.
2. Phones, pagers, etc. - Turn off all electronic devices.
3. Honesty, Trust, Fairness, Respect, and Responsibility – These are the five values listed in your Student Code of Conduct. (http://studentconduct.uncg.edu/) A failure to display these in class could result in disciplinary actions.
The Writing Center: This resource is available for all students who want to get feedback on drafts in progress. It is not designed as a proofreading service; however, tutors will teach you to develop ideas, organize, edit, compose and proofread your own paper. The Writing Center is located in 101 McIver and is open six days a week, including Sunday. Call 334-3125 for an appt. or just drop in!
Disability Services: Students with any sort of disability who need accommodations for any of their courses should contact 334-5440.
The Final Portfolio: Collect, Select, and Reflect
“ The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.”
The end of the semester will be here before we know it, and it is time to seriously think about your final portfolio. As you begin to put your portfolio together, pick those pieces you feel best represent you as a writer and your progress this semester.
Here are the requirements:
1) An annotated table of contents: Briefly describe each piece
2) A reflection on your portfolio, your writing, and the semester as a whole. This letter should be about 2 pages. Address it to your readers.
3) All three of your formal essays, heavily revised: For one of these essays, also include all your process pieces – brainstorming lists, free-writes, drafts, revisions, etc.
4) At least two pieces of your informal writings. Again, these should be heavily revised and be at least 1.5 pages long. For all of these pieces, include the original piece of writing (the homework assignment or in class writing).
5) Read-Around Reflection (1-2 pages). This should accompany the piece you workshop with the class. Of course, you need to revise and polish the piece. I will give more info about the read-around reflection later.
Feel free to include other items in your portfolio, but be sure to meet the requirements first. You may, for instance, want to include a paper for another class (written this semester) which shows skills you have learned in 101. You may include writing you do on your own time, or even photographs and artwork. Be sure that you explain in your reflection why you include everything you do.
The Technical Stuff:
• Everything should be neat and typed (except, of course, those process pieces that you include).
• There should not be any spelling or grammar mistakes in these pieces.
In the end, you must have 20 pages of polished writing
If you have 19/20 pages, your grade begins at a 95%
If you have 18/20 pages, 90%, and so forth
I will start grading based on the number of pages you have.
If you have 20 pages, I will start grading at 100%.
If you fail to proofread and edit your papers, your grade will drop considerably.
If you fail to revise for clarity, significance, organization, development, and other aspects that make your paper interesting and well-written, your grade will drop considerably.
All portfolios are due on in my office on Monday, December 6 by 9:00 a.m. NO EXCEPTIONS! If you do not hand in a portfolio on time, you will fail the class.
If you have any questions, please contact me ASAP.