Texts and Materials:
Writing Matters, UNCG Composition Department
The Mercury Reader: A Custom Publication, UNCG English 101 Composition Reader, Pearson Custom Publishing
The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Jane E. Aaron, Fifth Edition, Pearson Longman Publishing
Macnolia. A. Van Jordan, W.W. Norton Publishing - All-Freshman Reader
A dependable folder to hold ALL writing
Paper, pens for writing each day
Course Theme and Goals:
The purpose of this course is to help you become more confident writers and thinkers. Our learning goals are:
• To understand the steps of the writing process
• To express yourself effectively
• To understand the methods of intellectual discourse
• To understand the ways in which grammar and punctuation clarify meaning
• To write different types of essays
• To evaluate different perspectives.
While this will be a course, at times, that addresses the importance of audience expectations, it will mostly be a test of honesty, reflection and energy. Think of your experience in this course as a prolonged conversation - with your peers, with me and most importantly, with yourself. Our goal in this course is to, above all, “know thyself,” as a writer. Each of you arrives here today with a unique, internal dialogue which will fuel your written thoughts. Accessing that voice with comfort and fluency takes time and a level of sincerity and productivity that may feel uncomfortable at first. We will read, respond, play, converse, agree, disagree and WRITE freely both in and out of class. Hopefully, by the end of our time together, you will have eked out a place for yourself as a writer and will feel more comfortable writing about any situation in any context.
Our readings will serve as prompts to open up discussions about gender, social responsibility, psychology, cultural identity, and more. To understand who you are and what you truly value, you must allow yourself to fearlessly and honestly respond to these readings. Your writing is the primary text of this course.
While grammar and mechanics will be important, they will not be our main focus. Most of your energy should be devoted to articulating your thoughts with depth, clarity and honesty. Work not to please your peers, but to best represent yourself on paper. Expect to share your work with others. Keep in mind throughout this course that those insecurities that you are most afraid of exposing to the world are the very things that will make you not only a gifted writer, but also a worthwhile individual.
• Talk: Come to class ready to play -- finish assigned reading; think about it even; bring questions, finds, confusions, and interests. You will be expected to contribute to group work, are required to be in class on peer review workshop days, and must come by to see me in my office at least once this semester.
• In-Class Writing: Most class times will begin with 15-20 minutes of writing. These writings should be a reflection of your thoughts for that day, which may or may not deal with the main subject/reading at hand. Your goal is to mirror your thoughts as closely as possible on paper. These exercises allow you the opportunity to ramble, giving you a taste of the infinite appeal of writing. These writings will count as daily jottings, in the breakdown of percentages below; if you are in class and give your best "honest writing,” (lazy writing is easily identifiable) you will receive a 10 (which converts to a 100).
• Homework Journals are single-spaced, one page, type-written questioning-thinking-wandering-analyzing tools that are written about your ideas, readings, and our discussions. We will also play around with different “types” of writing. A full page is expected. These will be evaluated on a 10 point scale, and then converted into the 100 point scale. These writings count as journals in the breakdown of percentages below.
• In-Class Writing Leadership: Each class member will pair up with a fellow student to be an in-class writing leader for one class session each week. Students will bring in a topic for the class to write about for the first 15 minutes of class. The leaders’ 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 whatever you want for topics: poems, photographs, art, music, artifacts. Put some thought into this! You will be required to hand in a typed reflection of your experience as a Writing Leader the class period following your presentation.
• Formal Papers: You will write three 3-4 page papers for this course. You will receive a description sheet explaining the nature and scope of the papers plenty of time before each assignment is due.
• Portfolio: At midterm and at the end of the semester, you will submit a writing portfolio (folder) full of your work for evaluation. Portfolio assessment has many benefits. This type of system values writing improvement rather than the stand-alone value of individual pieces of writing. I’m sure many of you have received lower grades on your first couple of essays in a class, only to improve as the semester progresses. Writing is a process, and as such, can never be finalized. The portfolio system acknowledges this concern, evaluating students based on their cumulative rather than singular effort. I will talk more in detail about your portfolios later. For now, just remember to KEEP EVERYTHING!
Portfolios: 30% - (15% Midterm, 15% Final)
Formal Papers: 30% - (10% each)
Daily Jottings/Quizzes/In-class Exercises: 15%
Writing Leadership Presentation: 10%
If you present the words or ideas of another as your own, you are guilty of plagiarism. Please understand that, perhaps unlike your high school experience, college administration is VERY serious about academic integrity. You are responsible for reading and understanding Academic Integrity Policy as defined by the student handbook at: www.uncg.edu/saf/studiscp/Honor.html. Read the Plagiarism Statement in Writing Matters on page 77 as well. A warning: If you lift words from an internet site or present another’s words as your own, you will automatically fail this course. It is very simple to spot plagiarism, so when in doubt about what is or isn’t acceptable, ask me.
Examples of Plagiarism:
1. Copying part or the whole of another student’s paper.
2. Copying without documentation part or all of a published essay, article, or book - including internet material.
3. Purchasing a paper from a company.
4. Downloading a paper from the Internet.
5. “Cut and paste” plagiarism: This includes simply rearranging sentences and phrases from an original source, or replacing a few words with synonyms; using direct quotations without appropriate quotation marks and quotations without adequate documentation.
6. Presenting as your own original idea, even thoroughly paraphrased, without attribution to the author.
1. Class assignments are to be completed before the beginning of the class
period for which they are scheduled. Lack of preparation will immediately detract
from your grade.
2. Out of class Journals must be at least one full page, typed, single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font with no greater than 1.25 margins.
3. Late work is unacceptable unless you have made prior arrangements with me no less than 24 hours in advance. If you must turn in late work, I lower the grade one full letter for every day the work is late, including weekends.
4. All written assignments must be submitted to me in-person during class time unless otherwise specified. You are expected to turn your papers in; I will not take any written work from students other than yourself, and will not give your papers to anyone else but you.
5. Attendance is essential. Readings and assignments will be distributed and announced in class, so you need to be here in order to stay on track. Come to class so you can be up to date with the schedule. If you miss more than three classes without proper notice, you should expect your final grade to suffer.
6. Peer workshops and conferences are mandatory. Should you miss, unexcused, any of the journals, essays, unannounced group work exercises, or other in-class activities you should expect your absence to negatively affect your semester grade.
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 center consultant. They can assist you on any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming topics to revising a final paper. Please take advantage of this unique resource located in 101 McIver and open Mon. - Thurs. from 9-8, Fri. 9-3, and Sun. evenings 6-9.
Tentative Due Dates:
Essay 1: September 13
Essay 2: October 13
Essay 3: November 15
Midterm Portfolio: October 6
Final Portfolio: December 1