McIver 222 MWF 12:00
Office: 137 McIver Cubicle F
Office Hours: By Appointment
Mailbox: 133 McIver
On Writing: A Process Reader
Planet of the Blind
Other required texts/handouts TBA
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course helps you devise strategies you can use in all the writing you will do in college. You will learn skills of composing—how to come up with ideas, get them on paper, revise them and make them interesting and persuasive to readers. During the semester, you’ll do a lot of writing both in and out of class. We will examine how published writers write, and how we, as students of writing, can learn from other writers. LEARNING GOALS: 1) to develop your own ideas in conversation with other writers, 2) to read sources critically, 3) to cite and acknowledge sources properly, 4) to revise your writing in response to feedback, 5) to offer substantive and useful critiques of student work in progress, and 6) to practice techniques gleaned from published writers.
ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory and will be taken every class meeting.
There is no distinction made between excused and unexcused absences, but you
are allowed three absences without penalty in case of illness, emergencies,
or whatever reasons you may have. The following chart outlines how absences
affect your grade in this course.
Number of Absences Acquired Effect on Grade
1-3 No penalty
4 3 points deducted from final grade average
5 6 points deducted from final grade average
6 9 points deducted from final grade average
More than 6 Fail the course*
*In extenuating circumstances, such as serious illness or family obligations, where the student has made up all missed work, this policy will be reconsidered.
Absence is not an excuse for handing an assignment in late. If you are absent on a day an assignment is due, you may email your assignment to your instructor so that it will not be marked late. You should also email your instructor to get any missed class work.
Tardiness: If you are late for class twice, it counts as one absence. Being late is disruptive and disrespectful to everyone in the class.
PORTFOLIO SYSTEM: All assignments you hand in will not be graded individually.
Instead, you will receive feedback from your instructor and from your classmates
on how to improve each assignment. You will be required to revise most of the
writing you do throughout the course. You will have three major assignments
this semester: three papers of approximately 3-5 typed pages each, along with
several shorter essays of 2-3 pages in length. At the end of the semester,
you will select your best work to put in a portfolio, which then will be graded
as a whole. This system takes the focus off of “making the grade” and
allows you to concentrate on improving your writing.
Save your drafts! These will need to be in your final portfolio. All of the writing you do for this class is eligible for the final portfolio, so save everything.
LATENESS POLICY: This class is built around the idea of revision. When you hand in a draft of an essay, I will provide comments in the margins which will suggest direction for future revision. If your paper is handed in late, no comments or suggestions will be provided for that assignment. Your grade will also suffer for lateness. Not doing an assignment at all will severely hurt your grade.
JOURNALS: You will be required to keep a journal for this class to practice informal writing—two entries per week to be collected approximately once a month. Sometimes topics for your journal will be assigned (for example you may be asked to respond to a class reading) but most of the time you will be free to write about topics of your own choosing—but please remember that I will be reading it. Do not write anything in your journal that you would not want me to see, but feel free to write about whatever interests you. Your journal will not be graded for content, only for completion.
IN-CLASS WRITING: Please come prepared with a pen and paper each day for in-class writing. Oftentimes in-class writing assignments are designed to help you get started on your formal essays. Like your journals, your in-class writing and minor assignments will not be graded for their content, although failure to complete such assignments will negatively impact your grade.
WRITING LEADERS: Each student will be responsible for providing one prompt for in-class writing. The leader’s responsibilities for that day include: 1) bringing in a prompt; 2) presenting the prompt to the class; 3) leading a brief discussion of what the class wrote. More info on writing leaders and writing prompts will be provided in class.
CONFERENCES: You will be required to meet with me at least two times during
the semester to discuss your work. At this time classes will be cancelled so
we can focus on your work and your individual writing challenges. If you wish,
you may schedule a meeting with me at any time during the semester to discuss
Missing a scheduled conference is equivalent to one absence.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY: Students are expected to abide by the terms of the student code of academic conduct, available in your undergraduate bulletin or online at http://studentconduct.uncg.edu. I urge you all to examine this material, and consult me with any questions you may have about plagiarism and academic integrity before it becomes an issue. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism. Understand that academic dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. Students at UNCG are required to write and sign the Academic Integrity Pledge on all major work submitted for this course. The pledge reads, "I HAVE ABIDED BY THE UNCG ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY ON THIS ASSIGNMENT.”
RESPECT: This classroom is a writing community. You will all be doing a lot of workshopping and groupwork with your writing. As such, it is critical that we treat each other with the appropriate level of courtesy and respect. No one should be made to feel unwelcome here. Failure to treat other students with the respect they deserve will severely negatively impact your class participation grade.
GRADES: This class is not an easy A, but it is easy to get an A. If you are
diligent in doing all your required work both in and out of class, and you
put a good effort into your assignments, you will do well in this course, and
you will improve your writing.
50% IN-CLASS PARTICIPATION:
Requirements Good Grade Bad Grade
In-class writing You actively participate in writing when asked to write. You stare off into space or go to the bathroom when you’re asked to write.
Class discussion You show interest in what your peers have to say, and volunteer your own opinion. You fall asleep, daydream, never say anything at all.
Group Work You actively work with your group in fulfilling your group assignments, and learn from your peers. You sit by and watch as your group members do the work for you.
Reading Quizzes You do the required readings and you know the answers to quiz questions. You don’t read at all, or skim the reading without understanding it, and try to come up with answers that sound nice.
Journals You put time and thought into journal entries, and do two each week. You spend a minute or two scribbling something out before your journal is due.
Essays You try to fulfill the demands of each assignment and hand it in on time. You hand your assignment in late or not at all, and it doesn’t meet assignment requirements.
Revisions You consider teacher and peer comments, ask your teacher to explain comments when you don’t understand, and then decide for yourself what changes to make in your essays, spending as much time on a revision as you do on the initial writing. You mindlessly change something in an essay only where your teacher made a marking in the margin, or you don’t change anything at all.
Midterm Portfolio: A collection of revised writing, and initial plans for the final portfolio to be collected half-way through the semester. The midterm will not be graded for content, but for completion.
Final Portfolio: Your portfolio will be a collection of your best work from
this class, which will include approximately 20 pages of revised writing drawn
from essays, journal entries and in-class writings. Your final portfolio is
due on Monday, December 6, the last day of class. No late portfolios will be
accepted. If your portfolio is not in by that time, you will fail the course.
TENTATIVE WEEKLY SCHEDULE:
Week 1: Aug. 16, 18, 20 Introduction to course/Rhetoric
Friday, August 20 LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD
Week 2: Aug. 23, 25, 27
DUE: SHORT ESSAY #1: Letters
Week 3: Aug 30 Sept. 1, 3
Bring in an Ad and song lyrics
DUE: SHORT ESSAY #2: The Portrait
Monday, Sept. 6 NO CLASS—Labor Day
Week 4: Sept. 8, 10
DUE: LONG ESSAY #3: Text Analysis
Week 5: Sept. 13, 15, 17 CONFERENCE WEEK — NO CLASS
DUE (in conference): SHORT ESSAY #4: The List
Week 6: Sept. 20, 22, 24 Argument, Language, Imagination
Week 7: Sept 27, 29 Oct 1
Show and Tell
DUE: LONG ESSAY #5: Argument
Week 8: Oct. 4, 6, 8
CONFERENCE WEEK — NO CLASS
DUE (in conference): SHORT ESSAY #6: The Object
Receive Prospective Grades
Friday, October 8 LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW
Monday, Oct. 11 NO CLASS—FALL BREAK
Week 9: Oct. 13, 15
DUE: Midterm Portfolios
Week 10: Oct. 18, 20, 22
Begin Planet of the Blind
DUE: Research Addendum
Week 11: Oct. 25, 27, 29
Planet of the Blind
DUE: Short ESSAY #7: The Moment
Week 12: Nov. 1, 3, 5 Planet of the Blind
IN-CLASS COMPARE/CONTRAST ESSAY
DUE: Long ESSAY #8: Memoir
Week 13: Nov. 8, 10, 12 Revision Workshops (or catchup week)
Week 14: Nov. 15, 17, 19 Revision Workshops
Week 15: Nov 22
Wed and Fri, Nov 24, 26 Favorite Essay Presentations
THANKSGIVING BREAK — NO CLASS
Week 16: Nov 29 Dec 1, 3 CONFERENCE WEEK—NO CLASS
Dec. 6 FINAL PORTFOLIOS DUE IN CLASS
Dec. 8-13 NO FINAL EXAM; PICK UP GRADED PORTFOLIOS in McIver 137