Office: 01K Petty Office Phone: 334-3294
Office Hours: TR 4:45-6:00, or by appointment
The purpose of this course is to further improve your writing, researching, reading, and, most importantly, critical thinking skills. You will build on the knowledge you gained in ENG 101 (or its equivalent) and strive to create prose that is clear, organized, detailed, logical and thought provoking. You will also work on developing a personal writing style and voice. This course will stretch your creative capabilities and push you to think in many different ways. Your work in this course will help prepare you to think and to write effectively in your other college courses, on the job, and in the world beyond college.
This is a speaking intensive course, and you will gain experience in public speaking by articulating your opinions and conclusions to the other members of the class. One of the goals of this class is for you to feel confident in your abilities to argue a point, and you will be given many opportunities to practice argumentation in your writing, and to share these opinions orally with other members of the class. I do not expect everyone to be an experienced orator, but I do expect that you be willing to venture forth and share your opinions with the class.
In order to practice written and oral communication skills, this class will focus on rhetoric and music. The questions we will explore, through class discussion, readings, and writing, include: Why does music matter? How does it matter? How does it enter into the larger social, cultural, historical, and political realms of our lives? How does music work as an example of rhetoric? Why does the ability to perform a song affect so many people? How can we talk about our personal, private experience of music in a critical, universal way? How does music allow us to experience viewpoints, cultures, and worldviews different than our own? And, finally, how does pop music create images of America, and how do those images operate?
Upon completion of this course you should be able to:
1. Understand the principles of effective oral and written rhetoric (the rhetorical triangle)
2. Write for a variety of audiences and understand audience demands for oral situations
3. Offer supportive evidence and developed ideas for both written and oral presentations
4. Develop evaluative research skills, both library and online sources
5. Participate in group feedback and support processes for improving writing and speaking
6. Understand effective listening skills as part of the writing and speaking processes
TEXTS: Selected Readings on Blackboard
Various songs chosen by instructor and students
REQUIREMENTS: 4 essays
Journal of reflections and responses
1 individual presentation
Individual conferences with instructor
ESSAYS/REVISIONS: For each essay you turn in, I will offer extensive feedback and comments, suggesting ways to revise and improve the essay. You will be given a grade on each essay you turn in, and will have the option of revising the essay and resubmitting it. For the revisions, I will offer more comments and another grade. Your grade for the essay will consist of the average between your first draft grade and the grade you receive on the revision.
JOURNALS: For this component of the class, you will make weekly postings to a message board I have set up on the Blackboard site. You are required to submit one post each week, but you may make multiple postings if you wish. The purpose of this assignment is to create on-going discussions among the groups about music, the assigned readings, class discussions, and all the other ways music factors into your daily lives as college students. The posts should consist of comments, questions, reflections on the various issues we encounter in the classroom, in addition to how you notice music and rhetoric working in the world around you. You should respond to the postings of your classmates, so that you have a discussion amongst yourselves, not just a series of random posts. We will talk more about this in class.
INDIVIDUAL/GROUP PRESENTATIONS: More details will be given about the individual and group presentations.
POLICIES: You are expected to be here and to be on time. This course involves
a great deal of in-class discussion that is impossible to make up outside of
class. If you miss more than 3 classes (excused or unexcused), I will subtract
5% from the Attendance/Participation portion of your grade for each absence.
Excessive tardies and absences will significantly and negatively affect your
grade. If you miss 6 classes (the equivalent of three weeks of class), you
will be dropped from the class.
A few other policies that will help our class run smoother. . .
-- Please be on time, lateness is rude and distracting
-- I will distribute an attendance sheet at the beginning of each class period; if you do come in late, it will be your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet
-- No late papers will be accepted; if you anticipate a problem, please see me in advance
PLAGIARISM: According to UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy, plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s words and/or ideas and call then your own on any class assignment. Please refer to the entire policy at http://saf.dept.uncg.edu/studiscp/Honor.html. If you have questions about plagiarism please consult me before any problems arise. Plagiarism will result in an automatic 0% on the assignment, and you will be subject to University sanctions.
GRADES: Your final grade will be based on your completion of all course requirements, your class participation, and your overall effort to improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills throughout the semester, not just when final assignments are due. The course grade is broken down like so: 10% for attendance/participation, 10% for in class writing/journals/etc., 5% for Essay 1, 10% for Essay 2, 15% both Essay 3 and 4, 20% for the individual presentation, and 15% for the group presentation. Feel free to talk to me at any point about your progress in the course.
DAILY EXPECTATIONS: For this class to be successful, you need to be an involved
and active class member. This entails coming to class with the assigned material
read and with questions and comments to add to the class discussion. Success
in this class depends on:
1. meeting all the requirements
2. the quality of your written and oral work
3. your willingness to try new perspectives, to revise and rethink, to take chances
THE WRITING CENTER: I encourage you to use the Writing Center to get new and different perspectives on your writing. The Center is an extension of our classroom community and will give you useful feedback. The Writing Center is located in McIver 101, and the hours are: Sunday 6-9 pm, Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm, and Friday 9am-3pm.
THE SPEAKING CENTER: I also encourage you to use the Speaking Center to get feedback on your public presentation style, as well as to practice your presentations before you do them in class. The Speaking Center is located in McIver 22, and the hours are: Monday-Wednesday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, and Friday 9am-Noon.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Learning is an active process, and what you do affects the quality of your education. Your job as a student is to think seriously about writing, to read the assigned materials, to discuss the materials in class, and to write intelligently in response to what you learn and know. If you do these four things, you will find yourself a better writer, thinker, and student at the end of the semester.
Learning involves interacting with others. I expect each student to participate in discussion, for in these discussions you try out your ideas and arguments on a live audience, who will respond to your opinions and make you develop your points more thoroughly. I do not wish to lecture; I want you to participate in creating a learning community in the class by constantly responding to each other.
Finally, learning can only thrive in an atmosphere that encourages the honest and fair exchange of ideas. As I stated before, the taking of another’s ideas – lying, cheating, and plagiarizing – will not be tolerated by the University or myself. Please see me if you need any assistance.
Tues. 8/17: Introduction/Expectations
Thurs. 8/19: How/Why does Music Matter?
Tues. 8/24: Discuss Individual Presentations
Thurs 8/26: Posting due; brainstorm for Essay 1; Ralph Ellison, “Blues People”
Tues. 8/31: Individual presentations; Greil Marcus, “Robert Johnson”
Thurs. 9/2: Posting due; Individual presentations, James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”
Tues. 9/7: Individual Conferences
Thurs. 9/9: Posting due; Individual Conferences
Tues. 9/14: Individual presentations; Workshop Essay 1
Thurs. 9/16: Essay 1 due; Posting due; Individual presentations; Greil Marcus, “Newman’s America, II”
Tues. 9/21: Individual presentations
Thurs. 9/23: Posting due; Individual presentations; Robert Coles, “‘Born in the U.S.A.’: A Businessman Crisscrossing the Country”
Tues. 9/28: Individual presentations; Greil Marcus, “Dylan as Historian”
Thurs. 9/30: Posting due; Individual presentations; Workshop Essay 2
Tues. 10/5: Essay 2 due; Individual presentations
Thurs. 10/7: Class Canceled
Tues. 10/12: Fall Break, No Class
Thurs. 10/14: Posting due
Tues. 10/19: David R. Shumway, “Rock & Roll as a Cultural Practice”
Thurs. 10/21: Posting due; Reading TBA
Tues. 10/26: Group meetings
Thurs. 10/28: Posting due; Workshop Essay 3; Nelson George, “Introduction to Hip Hop America”
Tues. 11/2: Essay #3 due; Individual Conferences
Thurs. 11/4: Posting due; Individual Conferences
Tues. 11/9: Group meetings; Alan Light, “About a Salary or Reality? – Rap’s Recurrent Conflict”
Thurs. 11/11: Posting due; Laura K. Warrell, “Fight the Power”
Tues. 11/16: Work on Group Presentations
Thurs. 11/18: Posting due; Work on Group Presentations
Tues. 11/23: Group Presentations
Thurs. 11/25: Thanksgiving Holiday, No Class
Tues. 11/30: Group Presentations
Thurs. 12/2: Essay #4 due; Group Presentations
Tues. 12/14: Final Exam Meeting Time, 7:00-10:00pm