Learn basic principles of language as pertaining to Rhetoric and Composition. Examine relationships of audience, speaker, and text. Learn to structure and build arguments through writing and written communication. Analyze and deconstruct the arguments and strategies in others’ writings. Basically : learn how to write effectively for any audience and any given situation.
I break the class down 60% Participation, 40% Portfolio. Obviously, if you bomb either one, you’ll fail the class.
Portfolio: This is turned in at the end of class. It will consist of all drafts of all four of your papers, reflection letters, and a few refined, miscellaneous writings from class. More details closer to midterm. The most important things to remember at this point are: Keep all your drafts (and everything else, for that matter) and you don’t get grades on papers until the portfolio.
Participation: Here is where many good students can run into trouble. Participation encompasses attendance, doing all the reading out of class, maintaining the journal, speaking up and adding to discussions, attempting all writing assignments, and essentially being a great student. Honestly, this is mostly subjective, but there are some things we can nail down and quantify:
Attendance: The system is pretty simple. 3 absences for free. I don’t care what the reason is. Don’t even tell me. Just be sure to get whatever work you missed, either from a classmate or from me upon your return. After 3, each unexcused (my judgment) absence results in a loss of one letter grade. 3 tardies = 1 absence. Not being prepared for class can result in an absence as well.
Journal : You write in this usually to begin every class. Then you write outside of class as well. By the end of the semester, you’ll have at least 45 entries. The pacing of this is: two entries (in class) per week times about 12 weeks (sometimes we don’t write in class) gives us 24 entries. That leaves 36. Divided by 14 (viable weeks in the semester = about 2-3 entries per week on your on. A good entry is a complete, complex thought. There’s no length requirement, but my take on it is that one good entry will take no less than 15-20 minutes.
You can write about whatever you want in your journal. But if you’re ever stuck for ideas, here’s a few that always work:
1 – Continue the conversation we were having in class. Maybe you don’t
talk much in class because you’re shy. Here’s a good chance to
vent and have your say.
2 – What are you reading (for this or any class) and what do you think about it? This goes for short stories, the news, whatever.
3 – Look up a random word in the dictionary. Write about that word, somehow – about an association, a memory, or its definition.
4 – Go back to an old entry you’ve written before. Analyze it. Can you see how you were thinking when you wrote it? What were you trying to say? Did you say it? Do you have anything more to say?
5 – Vent. Sometimes we get writers block because we’ve got too much on our minds. Get rid of some of it in a rant.
The physical requirements in this class are few. We make up for it in commitment and reading outside of class. You will need:
1. A portable, paperback dictionary. Bring to every class.
2. A composition notebook. 9.75x7.5inches. 80-100 sheets. Bring to every class.
3. The Writer’s Presence (textbook). Bring to each class.
Disability Disclaimer – if you have any disability or special learning requirements that I should take into consideration, please speak with me as soon as possible so I might make any adjustments necessary to give you an optimal learning experience.