COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course helps you devise strategies you can apply to all the writing you will do in college. You will learn skills of composing—how to generate ideas, get them onto paper, revise them, and ultimately make them interesting to readers. Writing well involves more than following a set of rules or formulas. It means understanding and using the relationship between who writers are and who their readers might be. This class aims to help you understand that relationship by practicing it.
During the semester, you’ll do a lot of writing both in and out of class. You’ll write for yourself and for others, analyze each other’s writing as well as your own, reflect and respond and argue and do research. We’ll talk about how you develop your own style, how you develop ideas and how you change them, and how you understand audience. Our discussions will often happen in small groups, and your work in your group is important to your success. Writing in this class will make you more confident of your ability to write for a variety of purposes and help you discover how writing matters to your thinking.
Learning goals for 101 include:
Writing and evaluating arguments
Communicating clearly and effectively
Evaluating and using relevant information
Understanding aims and methods of intellectual discourse
Evaluating different viewpoints
The Writer’s Presence, McQuade
MacNolia, A. Van Jordan
Writing Matters, Rita Jones-Hyde, Karen Summers, and Liz Vogel, editors
Strongly Recommended: The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
** You need a working UNCG email account.
You will need a 3-ring binder for your portfolio and either a spiral notebook or a composition book for your in-class writing assignments and journal entries. DON’T THROW ANYTHING OUT—you will use in-class writing, journals, drafts of papers, and revisions to put together a final portfolio.
3 Essays, 4-6 pages in length
A Journal of reflections, responses
2 extended journal entries of at least two pages
Daily in-class writing
2 Conferences with me
Final Portfolio (about 20 pages of revised, edited writing): details discussed throughout the semester
Journals: For this course you will be required to keep an active and up-to-date journal, which will be collected roughly once every other week. You will write two entries a week. This is NOT A DIARY—not a record of what you did throughout the day. Rather, it is a record of thoughts, observations, and descriptions. You can also use your journal to explore topics for longer essays. One entry per week should address your responses to a reading for class. For the other entry you may choose to write about whatever you wish: insights in your first year of college, reflections on other classes, whatever you’ve been thinking about that week. However, please note that I will read these (so restrict the subject matter to what you feel comfortable with me reading).
Although not formal, this is an assignment and required for the course. At least twice a week, sit down and write for no less than 20 minutes. I will keep an ongoing list of prompts in case you feel like you don’t have anything to write about (believe me, you do).
POLICIES AND GRADING:
Your attendance: Most of this class involves you directly in writing, responding, and reporting in large and small groups. It’s not possible to make up that kind of work. Therefore, regular attendance and participation are crucial to your success in this class. I expect you to come to class on time and prepared with all books and materials and with assignments complete.
Perfect attendance will be rewarded. You are allowed two unexcused absences during the semester. After that, each additional unexcused absence will negatively affect your grade. Missing six or more days (three weeks of class or more) will make it almost impossible to receive a passing grade. Tardiness is unacceptable. Excessive tardiness will negatively affect your participation grade.
Attendance / Participation—30%
I will not give you a grade on individual papers or journals. I will give
you a “grade-so-far” before fall break, which will describe your
progress in the class. My comments to you on journals and papers should give
you a sense of my evaluation of your work. I encourage you to talk with me
any time about your grade. Success in this class depends on:
1. Meeting all the requirements
2. The quality of your written work and your participation in class
3. Your willingness to try new perspectives, to revise and rethink, to take chances
Assignment Details: We will talk at length in class about how to format a paper. I will not accept a paper that is not formatted properly. I will hand it back to you to redo. All typed assignments should be corner-stapled and double-spaced with size 12 Times New Roman font, 1” top and bottom margins and 1.25” right and left margins.
The Writing Center: This free resource is available to all UNCG students. At the Center, you may make an appointment or just drop in to have a one-on-one conference with a writing consultant. They can assist you on any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming topics to revising a final paper. Also, students who miss a workshop will be required to take a draft by the Writing Center. Please take advantage of this unique resource located in 101 McIver and open Mon.-Thurs. from 9-8, Fri. 9-3, and Sun evenings from 6-9.
Academic Honor: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please see the section on academic honor in the UNCG Student Handbook if you have any questions. If you are still unsure about citing something in your paper, see me.
General Courtesy: The classroom is first a learning environment. While learning about race, religion, and other important topics, it is inevitable that that we will be uncomfortable at points in the semester. Nevertheless, it is not appropriate for us to be disrespectful. We will tackle all issues as learning issues. We will not threaten, belittle, intimidate, blame, or mock anyone. This classroom should provide a welcoming place for us to ask hard questions.
Tentative Calendar: You need to check Blackboard if you miss a class, in case the reading assignments change.
M Aug 15—Course introduction
Personal Narrative Unit—Writing as Remembering
“ Life only seems clear / Through the words I trade / With others. It’s not the same / As the tongue I use / When talking to myself.”—from MacNolia
W Aug 17—Discuss Writing Matters p. 3, Dericotte p. 13, Didion p. 16
F Aug 19—Discuss Alexie p. 61, Sedaris p. 249
M Aug 22—Paper 1 Assigned, Discuss Angelou p. 73, Hughes p. 146
W Aug 24—Discuss Carver p. 86, Cofer p. 93
F Aug 26—Journals due, Discuss Anzaldùa p. 299
M Aug 29—Discuss Allison p. 589
W Aug 31—2-3 Page Draft of Paper 1 due in class—bring 3 copies, discuss workshop
F Sept 2—Workshop personal narratives
M Sept 5—No class, Labor Day
W Sept 7—TBA
F Sept 9—Thursday and Friday—individual conferences
Rhetorical Analysis Unit—Writing as Understanding and Assessing
M Sept 12—2nd Draft of Personal Narrative due, Discuss Writing Matters p. 7, 11
W Sept 14—Discuss Orwell p. 481, 492, Kakutani p. 683
F Sept 16—Discuss Writing Matters p. 68, Bring in ad for rhetorical analysis
M Sept 19—Discuss Hitt p. 409, “M. Moore and the Ford Motor Company” p.
W Sept 21—Discuss Danticat p. 621, 625, Rapping p. 497
F Sept 23—Journals due
M Sept 26— Discuss Williams p. 810, Sunstein p. 770
W Sept 28— Rhetorical Analysis drafts due in class (3 copies), Discuss Twain p. 791
F Sept 30—Group Workshop
M Oct 3—Rhetorical Analysis due, Introduce Ethnography project, Discuss
Writing Matters p. 60, 62
W Oct 5—no class—mid-term conferences
F Oct 7—no class—mid-term conferences
M Oct 10—No Class, Fall Break
W Oct 12—MacNolia
F Oct 14—MacNolia
M Oct 17—Present research on MacNolia topics
W Oct 19—No class—attend Van Jordan’s reading in the EUC, 3:30 P. M.
F Oct 21—Journals due, MacNolia
Ethnography Unit—Writing as Engaging Community
“ As I look a boy in the eye / Or not and reach / For his face, if I dare.”—from Macnolia
M Oct 24—Submit proposal for ethnography, Readings TBA
W Oct 26—Discuss Norris p. 460, 466, Baldwin p. 597
F Oct 28—Discuss Dillard p. 627, 631
M Oct 31—Extended journal revision due
W Nov 2—Readings TBA
F Nov 4— Discuss Carver p. 837, Kinkaid p. 840-842
M Nov 7— Discuss Updike p. 888, Walker p. 895
W Nov 9— Discuss O’Connor p. 854, 867
F Nov 11—Ethnography drafts due in class (3 copies)
M Nov 14—Workshop
W Nov 16—Ethnography due
F Nov 18—In-class poetry assignment, Discussion of tying the portfolio together
M Nov 21—Extended journal revision due, The Reflection Letter
W Nov 23—No class, Happy Thanksgiving
F Nov 25—No class, Happy Thanksgiving
M Nov 28—No class—conferences
W Nov 30—No class—conferences
F Dec 2—Class Reading
M Dec 5—Class Reading and portfolio due
Exam Period—Pick up portfolios and final grade. I will be in my office.